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Driving out via Laredo Bridge 2


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We've done this route before, but would appreciate directions beyond that of what we have used in the past which was Google or Waze.

I am going to get a paper map this time, and map out that route - Appreciate help with that if anyone is experienced. (We are in Ajijic)

1) Care to share your specs to this Laredo Bridge, so we have extra info?

2) Experienced driver headed that way, we'd be interested in hearing from you. We would welcome following someone.

Our trip out is super early (before dawn), morning of Oct 27th.  We like to arrive in Laredo while it is still a reasonable hour in evening (we have an airbnb reservation there)!

We do a straight drive through, stopping only for gas and short dog walk breaks.

Thanks a bunch!

 

 

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Everyone has their favorite route but to Laredo there really is only 2. I prefer the route that starts with the Macrolibriamento Sur connecting to 45D toward Aguascalientes at the end of the Hwy 80D. Maps can get you through town but the Convencion 1914 loop to the right is one way often used to reconnect to 45D on the north end.

From there it's a straight shot NE toward Zacatecas until you make the right turn on 54 toward Saltillo, then to Monterrey and finally to Nuevo Laredo. The signage is good except the exit at the west end of Monterrey to get on the perifico anillo you need to be in the right lane. It's posted but the placement of the toll booth seems counter-intuitive. You exit on the left to turn right and right to turn left.

The tolls are just under $1,450 as of August.

The last time we crossed the bridge going both north and then looking back on the return, there were absolutely no cars queued for US customs. 

We normally get to Nuevo Laredo in 10 1/2 - 11 hours and often are through customs and in a hotel room in 12 hours.

If you want a shorter trip you can continue on the Monterrey perifico past 85D about 10 minutes to the airport exit. There are lots of hotels there. It's then an easy start the next morning for the 2 hour trip to the border. By doing that you can check the bridge cam and wait times to decide if a straight shot to Bridge II is shorter or if the bridge is backed up you can divert to Columbia where you head back toward I-35. The divert is only practical if the wait is an hour or longer since there's more distance involved driving to Columbia.

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Sorry I mis read your post.. Going north I prefer to cross at the Columbia bridge..  I’ve always found there to be less traffic there in the late afternoon, When I crossed last March there was no traffic at the Columbia crossing, also I like to stay in north Laredo because its close to the big mall and lots of other stores.

I did the trip last March but I really didn’t pay much attention as I’ve done it many times before   I always stay at the Days Inn just as you come into Laredo on I-35. Left the motel at 6am Go straight down I-35 to bridge #2 lots of signs. After paying the toll to cross the bridge I believe it was $3.50 US. stopped at Mexican customs showed our permanent resident card, he asked what we had purchased while in the US, asked us to open the trunk, he looked inside and said “Have a safe trip”  In Spanish.

As you leave the customs area follow the road to the left, Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta. Stay on that road it will take you to 85 and then 85D  I always go through Matehuala, SLP 10 hours from leaving the motel……. It was a really good trip never encountered and traffic hold ups or police checkpoints.

If you happen to go straight on after Mexican customs, no big deal just take the first left.. it will take you to the Boulevard.

A few weeks later had friends that went the Zacatecas route took them 12 hours, getting through Zacatecas and Aquascalientes was horrendous..it may be shorter in mileage but time wise takes a lot longer.  The new toll roads around SLP and the one to the Chapala Hwy really make a difference..

 

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Did it 10 days ago. Left Ajijic at 5AM stopped for gas & bathroom in the SLP periferico. Filled tank on the Saltillo-Monterrey couta at the Pemex. Arrived 4pm at Immigration. 10 minutes to pass.  No traffic because only US residents can cross.

Macrolibramiento to direct then left on periferico around Lagos de Moreno  then north on 80 to Libramiento PTEaround San Luis Potosi (first stop in Potisinos for gas & bathroom break) then connect to 57 north to the cuota 40D Saltillo- Monterrey then north on 85D to the Av Luis Donaldo Colosio to the bridge. 

bridge.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/27/2021 at 6:03 PM, Mostlylost said:

Did it 10 days ago. Left Ajijic at 5AM stopped for gas & bathroom in the SLP periferico. Filled tank on the Saltillo-Monterrey couta at the Pemex. Arrived 4pm at Immigration. 10 minutes to pass.  No traffic because only US residents can cross.

Macrolibramiento to direct then left on periferico around Lagos de Moreno  then north on 80 to Libramiento PTEaround San Luis Potosi (first stop in Potisinos for gas & bathroom break) then connect to 57 north to the cuota 40D Saltillo- Monterrey then north on 85D to the Av Luis Donaldo Colosio to the bridge. 

bridge.jpg

Thanks for all the help here and we will be doing a drive on the 27th (Oct) to the border. 

All helps and tips were appreciated.  We do this drive as a straight through, with gas stops/one day drive.

I am surprised that others were interested in going (Drive/lead/follow) but solo is fine too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any news, good or bad, regarding travel by car south of Laredo to Monterrey?

Do people advise crossing just before dawn, and not driving into Nuevo Laredo before daylight out?

Have the National Guard and police had any impact in lowering highway crime recently from Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey?

Urgent message as I cross tomorrow, picking my spots.

Thanks

 

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If you leave early in the morning you'll have no problem getting to Laredo well before dark. So long as there are no obstacles you should be on Bridge II in under 11 hours. 

The same trip in December gets a little more dicey with the short days and the big mountains in Saltillo but not so much now.

Enjoy the drive. It's actually quite pretty or at least better than some of the interstates in the US.

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Isn't/wasn't most of the problems in the past in that area on the Libre road between Monterrey and N. Laredo and not the cuota?

 

You are correct. The vast majority were small commercial vehicles. Reports over a 6 month period of about 20 events. My worry is bad drivers not thieves.

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Left Laredo at Bridge II around 6 a.m.

Inspection took 15 to 20 minutes. The young MX border official went through just about everything I had bagged or in suitcases. Unusual, as I was traveling half-empty.

I asked the officials standing nearby if the crime associated with the Sabinas area had decreased the last couple months. (I had read kidnappings still occurring in July.) He said crime on the road was less, but particularly when starting out early just before dawn.

I drove for an hour or so in darkness, and when another car passed me, I sped up to stay with that car. Safety in numbers. Seemed like common sense. The Sabinas area did have some gathering of people off the side of the road, but I kept on.

Chose Matehuala route not Saltillo-Zaca, glad I did.

Roads are quite smooth, even new, except for a 10 to 20 mile stretch close to Lagos de Mareno.

Thanks to the poster who put up the camera shots of the lanes to Guadalajara when on the SLP bypass.

I used an old Garmin and that made apparent what the road was doing, and that it was a northwest-southwest bypass of SLP.

Except for mountain curves, the driving was more pleasant than the Saltillo-Zaca-Aguas route which I have taken countless times. Aguas is always a stressful congested pain, period.

I always thought Matehuala was "out of the way, less direct," but my odometer read 680 miles from Nuevo Laredo crossing to Chapala, and I challenge anyone to post that the Saltillo-Zacas route is fewer miles than 680. If it is, it can't be many miles less.

I agree with the poster about the improvements made at interchanges, eg. the Chapala turn onto Libramiento Sur de Guadalajara is seamless now, and no real involvement is required with Zapotlanejo at all. I recall years ago having to go under bridges on unimproved roads just to try to get on the correct highway leading to Zapotlanejo. Now the new exchanges make everything painless, stressless, not a source of continuing confusion.

This trip may have been the only trip where I did not make a single wrong turn inside Mexico, with the exception of needing to go into Matehuala to Soriana to an ATM when I could have used an ATM at Walmart on the frontage road, and not go into Matehuala at all. HSBC nicked me for 5.5% exchange rate commission on top of a 74 peso ATM fee. Lordy. Awta be a law against it.

This route south of Monterrey is filled every 50 miles or so with single Guarda Nacional white "highway patrol" sedans. They lie in wait for speeders. Speeders do get pulled over, but normally only the ones going 90 mph to 100+ mph.

I must have counted a dozen individual police cars stretched (spaced in intervals) from Monterrey to Lagos Moreno, and I counted zero police cars from Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey. Something is wrongheaded here, IMO.

What is more important? Saving lives from criminals who kidnap and kill, or catching speeding motorists and levying fines. I found the allocation of police south of Monterrey simply made zero sense, since the Highway of Death north of Monterrey towards Nuevo Laredo has claimed 71 disappeareds in the past year mainly in and around Sabinas, and that has captured international headlines, hearkening back to the 2010 era of innocent victims.

Who cares what I think, of course, about govt decisions made by any country. I gave up on that notion a long time ago.

Cheers, and thanks for the support from the posters who made my trip "feel" more secure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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