Repairs under way on damaged freeway. Repairs under way on damaged freeway.

Freeway reopened but only on one side

Repairs to Nuevo Laredo-Monterrey highway expected to take 48 hours

Two days of heavy rain has caused some severe damage to the Nuevo Laredo-Monterrey freeway, forcing Federal Police to shut down a portion of the highway to enable repairs.

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Flooding closed it for 12 hours, causing chaos for traffic, but one side was opened up late yesterday afternoon for two-way traffic over a stretch of about 30 kilometers to allow repairs to be carried out on the other side.

Vehicles— mostly trucks and buses — were backed up for up to 35 kilometers.

Repairs are now under way to a 15-meter section of highway damaged by the floodwaters. The work was expected to take 48 hours.

A federal transportation official said there may yet be more damage because parts of the freeway are still under water.

Roberto Cervantes Martínez said not only was the highway affected but also many of the trucks that were caught in the flood yesterday after the water rose half-way up the side of the trailers. He also predicted monetary losses for businesses because much of the cargo consists of consumables for factory production.

The state government declared an alert yesterday afternoon because of flooding in Nuevo Laredo and for fear that the Río Bravo, known north of the border as the Rio Grande, would overflow its banks.

Civil Protection official Joel Silva said the river’s level could rise as much as four meters higher than normal, which would affect the facilities of the vehicle import center and nearby roads.

He said flooding has been reported in more than eight neighborhoods.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Mañana (sp)

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