Colombia Bridge Border Crossing into Texas
After leaving Monterrey on Hiway #2 and approaching Texas, you have two choices: straight ahead through Nuevo Laredo and Interstate 35; or by-pass N. Laredo, crossing at Colombia, and over to Interstate 35, about 15 miles longer.
Entering Mexico at Laredo is usually not a problem, except at major holidays and Spring Break. Crossing back into Texas at Nuevo Laredo is often major congestion, with heinously, long lines. Up river at Colombia has never been busy and my preference.
After leaving Monterrey, notice signs for Colombia Puente Int. One mile past Aduana, or Mexican Immigration, usually empty, 18 miles before Mexico/Texas border, take the right exit marked “Colombia” and "Piedras Negra," and curve left on the overpass.
Follow the Rio Grande River north. There are two Colombia crossings over the Rio Grande into Texas. The first bridge, Puente III, (Bridge #3) is for TRUCKS ONLY. The second bridge, Puente Int. (International Bridge) is for autos.
Do not speed on the 50k (31 miles) to the border crossing, although this road used to be a speed-trap. Construction is nearly complete on converting the road to a 4-lane, divided highway, with a reasonable speed limit.
After driving about 20 miles, just past Pemex on left, take exit to right at overpass marked “Piedras Negras--Puente Int. Colombia,” curving around to the left. Truck traffic to bridge Puente III, goes straight. Notice small sign "Puente Int. Colombia-14k.” Then, "Puente Int. Colombia-7k"
Before Pemex on right, turn right at the signs for border crossing.
As you drive into the border zone on Mexican side, continue straight ahead, but stay in left lane and notice little hut with windows. Hand the friendly person your auto papers. Drive to the Mexican toll booth and cross the Rio Grande.
Welcome back to Texas. Now, follow the signs. Show the officials your passport, and answer their questions. Let the dogs smell the tires. They will ask to inspect the trunk.
Precede forward, passing road to Laredo. In a few miles is the Camino Real road. If you don't have a TxTag, they will mail you a bill. After about 15 miles, take the overpass to I-35 and stop at USA Immigration. The will ask your place of birth. You are now home free.