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City selects firms for drainage projects

This article ran in the July 23, 2021 issue of Progress Times. 

It’s been nearly two months since members of the El Valle Subdivision assembled to inform Mayor Armando O’Caña about the severity of the flooding issues in their neighborhood. Following a storm, residents reported waist-deep water and sinking floors at a May 21 meeting with the mayor and other city officials. But on July 15, Mission City Council unanimously selected the Mission-based firm B2Z Engineering to take on the drainage problems within the El Valle Subdivision.   

Along with B2Z, city council approved six other firms to begin work on the remaining high-priority drainage projects. 

The City of Mission identified 72 areas with drainage issues in a 2020 drainage assessment plan. Of those 72 locations, City staff determined there were seven high-priority areas. These areas were calculated based on the length of time it takes water to drain following heavy rainfall. The seven high priority areas are labeled as follows: Project Stewart A, Project Gabriel, Project Glasscock, Project Esperanza, Project Leandro, Project Elm and Project Tulip. 

The El Valle Subdivision drainage issues fall under Project Gabriel, which is in the vicinity of Inspiration Road. 

“That’s where we’ve been having the most problems,” City Engineer JP Terrazas said. 

The city engineer explained that El Valle experiences the most flooding because it is adjacent to the Mission Lateral drainage ditch, which is “by nature” the lowest point of the city. 

“Describing that, Project Gabriel is going to fix the problem. Am I correct? Even if it’s the lowest part,” O’Caña asked. 

Terrazas confirmed that is the intent of the project. 

“Also with the help of the expansion of the drainage district for Mission Lateral, which is going to be expanded on capacity of flow, it’s going to alleviate a lot of the flooding in that area,” Terrazas said.

Stewart Road’s high-priority issues are in the vicinity of Business 83 and FM 495 (Griffin Parkway) and they are broken down into two projects — Stewart A and Elm. Project Stewart A goes from Crown Pointe Blvd north to FM 495 to drain into Mission Lateral. City council unanimously awarded the project to McAllen-based firm Javier Hinojosa Engineering. This firm was previously hired to work on the Hidalgo County Drainage District’s Mission Lateral Project. 

Part two of Stewart Road drainage — Project Elm — is south of Crown Point Blvd. It runs to Business 83 and drains into Mission Inlet. In a 3-2 vote, the city council awarded the project to Mission-based firm South Texas Infrastructure. 

High-priority drainage issues on Glasscock Road are also broken down into two projects — Glasscock and Tulip. Project Glasscock is in the vicinity of Business 83 and FM 495. It then turns into Project Tulip, which is from FM 495 north to a drainage ditch just south of the Edinburg main canal. In a 3-1 vote, city council awarded Project Glasscock to Mission-based Izaguirre Engineering. The council awarded Project Tulip to H.C.E. in a 4-1 vote. The Alton-based firm has not worked with the city for any previous projects.

Project Esperanza, which is also in the vicinity of Inspiration Road, runs from the northwest quadrant from the Mission Lateral drainage ditch to Mile 3. Mission City Council unanimously approved TEDSI Infrastructure Group from Mission for the project. 

Lastly, the council unanimously awarded Project Leandro to Mission-based firm Rick Hinojosa Engineering. Leandro is in the vicinity of Inspiration Road between FM 495 and Mile 2. 

“I just want all the firms to please work with us and to understand the urgency of this drainage work that needs to be done. It is very, very important to all of us as a council,” Councilman Ruben Plata said. “I want to make sure that the projects are completed within that given amount of time. No more. If they go beyond, I think it’s only fair that they compensate the city because we are here to take care of the citizens.”

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