The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridge Boards have appointed Juan Olaguibel as its Superintendent of Bridges. The former director of operations for the McAllen Bridge System has10 years of experience in bridge management, serving most recently as the Interim Director for the bridge system after the previous director’s departure. Olaguibel, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, also has a broad range of expertise in finance earned over 12 years in the banking industry, serving as a bank manager for Wells Fargo before joining the City of McAllen.
“The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridge Boards were impressed with Juan’s vision for the operations of these two international crossings and their role in growing both the economy and security of the two nations that they join,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, chair of the international bridge boards. “Aside from his operational knowledge of running an efficient, safe and profitable bridge system, Juan’s diplomacy in dealing with multiple levels of government in both the United States and Mexico is key to helping the McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges be key players in the continued growth with Mexico, our country’s largest trade partner. Couple that with the daily crossers of maquila and other workers, students, families, and shoppers, having a modern bridge system managed by a leader who wants to create a smooth bridge crossing experience, I expect that Juan’s leadership will take the bridges to a new level.”
As the director of operations for the McAllen Bridge System, Olaguibel implemented a new policy and procedure that maximized cash controls for City of McAllen auditors that were more efficient and effective, as well as analyzed operations and evaluated performances of the departments’ operations and staff to reduce costs, improve the programs and implement new policies, which resulted in reduced expenses and better management of working hours and overtime.
Olaguibel successfully facilitated a lucrative real estate contract with the federal government for the City of McAllen, City of Hidalgo and the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge Board, which will generate over $31 million in revenue to the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge. Over the past 10 years, he has been working with both Customs & Border Protection and the General Services Administration to upgrade the facility. He is currently working to expand the northbound pedestrian lanes at the same bridge to double the pedestrian inspection booths from five to 10, a project that is already in the planning stages.
Aside from working closely with the various Mexican federal agencies to modify hours of operation for southbound empty trucks at Anzalduas International Bridge, he has maintained excellent relationships with the Mexican Department of State and other key federal transit and communication agencies, as well as with the governments of the State of Tamaulipas and the State of Nuevo Leon. Additionally, Olaguibel has a close collaboration with the owners and management of Mexico’s top concessionaire.
His next major goal for the bridge system is to grow the full cargo project at Anzalduas, working with both the U.S. State Department to execute and deliver a diplomatic letter to Mexico’s State Department for this future expansion of service on the bridge.
“The City of McAllen is proud to have Juan as our Superintendent of Bridges, who is knowledgeable not only about running a profitable, secure and efficient bridge operation but also, who is passionate about the intricate federal intergovernmental relations for both the United States and Mexico, as well as to run and grow the bridge system,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.
Aside from earning his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Texas-Pan American, Olaguibel is currently working on earning a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
“I am excited for the opportunity to help grow the McAllen Bridge System’s role in the international trade and security of both our nations, as well as facilitating the everyday crossing of residents on both sides of the border,” said Olaguibel.