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Mission: south side development moving forward

Mission’s city council has awarded a $3.4 million contract to a Mission-based civil engineering firm to continue work on phase 2 of the Anzalduas Highway wastewater and potable water trunk lines.


Mission Purchasing Director Eduardo Belmarez told the council at its Nov. 27 regular meeting his office recommended Mor-Will, LLC for the project from among seven companies that bid on the project because it was best qualified and its bid was about a half million dollars lower than the city’s second choice.

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The Mission Redevelopment Authority is the funding agent created to develop thousands of acres of former agricultural and underutilized land west of the Anzalduas Highway and south of Expressway 83.


The first phase of the project involved placing lift stations at Los Indios Parkway and Military Road. The second phase involves the installation of about two miles of water and sewer lines along the Anzalduas Highway. MRA Executive Director Daniel Silva previously explained the lines are necessary to facilitate further commercial, industrial and residential development in the area west of Sharyland Plantation to Conway Avenue and bounded by Trinity Road on the north and the international crossing to the south. In all an area of about 6000 square acres are slated for development in that area, Silva said.


Belmarez said the project should take 270 days to complete.


During its Nov. 14 meeting the MRA board of directors were told plans are moving along to widen about 6.8 miles of roads that will eventually connect with the planned Madero International Bridge expected to be completed sometime before 2021.


Armando Sandoval of L&G Engineering  told the MRA board the $46 million project is set to widen Inspiration Road from Expressway 83 south to Military Road,   which, during his presentation Sandoval referred to as Military Parkway. The project will also widen to five lanes Military Road from just west of Schuerbach Road to south Conway Avenue. The project also includes construction of a “loop road” connecting Los Ebanos Road with Conway Avenue, Sandoval said.


“Basically it’s a five lane section everywhere with a little bit of boulevard section in front of the Veteran’s Cemetery,” Sandoval said.


The city of Mission’s portion of the project is about $8 million or 18-percent of the total cost, Sandoval said. Sandoval said the city is working with the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the county’s area drainage district to fund portions of the project. And Mission City Manager Martin Garza said the city is working with state senator, Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa to secure additional funding. Sandoval said the project will entail construction of two bridges over the city’s main canal, one at Inspiration Road and the other at Military Road. He said the project includes $10 million in drainage improvements above the $46 million project cost he said the county’s drainage district will fund.


Sandoval said his company is currently working on the first phase of the project that entails creating schematics and necessary environmental impact studies. He said his company is working with the Texas Department of Transportation in developing the project plans. Sandoval said the next step will be to hold public hearings on the project sometime in the spring of 2018.


“After that, once the schematics and the environmental documents are approved then we’ll go ahead and start doing the plans and right of way mapping and acquisitions and ultimate construction,” Sandoval said.


Garza said the city has already spent $1.3 million of its $8 million share of the project on preliminary studies. He said the Hidalgo County MPO has dedicated $19.1 million to the project and with the city’s $8 million the project still is lacking approximately $19 million in funding.


“But we are working together with other organizations to be able to continue the funding,” Garza said. “We’ve had several meetings with people who deal with the Department of Transportation at the state level and we’re hoping to continue receiving some of that funding.”


Garza said Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is working with fellow Anzalduas Bridge Board members to complete a funding feasibility study for the entire Madero Bridge and road improvement projects. Garza said that study is expected to be completed in July 2018.


Garza said the city is working with Hinojosa to obtain the $3 million needed for the project’s environmental study. He said once the road projects are completed the city will become responsible for its maintenance. Garza said part of the equation in obtaining additional state funding is having in place the environmental study and plans developed to show the project is “shovel ready.”


“The idea here, like always, like any other project we’ve done, is getting the project shovel ready. What is that?” Garza asked, “Making sure we have all the engineering in place because the state is going to look at the projects that are shovel ready, ready for construction. And that’s the way we’ve been working our projects and its been working for us.


“What we’re doing is we’re preparing for what’s coming in the future. But everything is looking very, very positive on both projects,” Garza said, referring to both the bridge and the roads.  


The MRA was also told that though three months behind schedule, the Bentsen Palm Development Lift Station project has been completed.


Mario Reyna Jr., of the civil engineering firm Melden & Hunt, told the MRA board during its Nov. 14 meeting the project was completed that day. Reyna said the project was delayed 90 days because construction crews had to remove and replace about 3,000 feet of sewer pipe in four different areas where the lines had “sagged” after being installed.


“It is per plan now,” Reyna told the board.


The work is in conjunction with planned residential and commercial development in the area of Schuerbach Road and Military Highway.

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