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July 15, 2010 10:30 AM, EDT

Mexico to Reopen Monterrey-Laredo Toll Road to Trucks Only

Tolls To Be Waived Following Floods, Officials Say

Mexico will gradually reopen a toll highway linking Monterrey, Mexico, to Laredo, Texas, to large commercial trucks only and exempt them from paying tolls, Bloomberg reported.

Flooding from the Salado River that closed the highway since Friday has receded to the point that large trucks can safely pass, Mexico’s Communication and Transportation Ministry said in a statement.

The shutdown had forced transportation companies to re-route traffic away from Laredo, the busiest international commercial crossing on the southern U.S. border, to other land ports, including Hidalgo and Brownsville, Texas, Bloomberg said.

The congestion at those smaller ports caused some businesses to reduce operations or use air cargo to move goods, Bloomberg reported.

Only one south-bound lane and one north-bound lane of the highway will be open over a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) stretch until conditions return to normal, the ministry said.

The free highway that also connects Monterrey with Laredo will remain closed for several more days, the Mexican government said. That road was flooded after officials released water from a dam to cope with heavy rains resulting from Hurricane Alex at the beginning of the month.