The City of Mission has several infrastructure and capital improvement projects in the pipeline in addition to the seven drainage projects the city has already begun. From the all-inclusive park to traffic signal testing and police and fire, Missionites will see many changes throughout the next 12 months.
The long-awaited Taylor Road expansion project is about to commence, and the Mission and McAllen communities should prepare for no less than 13 months of construction. Hidalgo County and the cities of Mission and McAllen partnered to turn Taylor Road into a five-lane street.
At the Oct. 24 meeting, Mission City Council approved Texas Cordia Construction to take on phase one of the project. The roadwork for the initial phase is from Expressway 83 to Business 83 and will last about 13 months. Assistant City Manager JP Terrazas said they anticipate phase two construction beginning in the summer of 2023. Phase two runs from Business 83 to Mile 2.
The construction cost is $6,212,302.31, which was the “lowest [bid] by a lot,” Terrazas explained. He said Texas Cordia is a Texas Department of Transportation-approved contractor that completes many federal and state projects.
The construction start date is still undetermined, but Hidalgo County, Mission and McAllen will meet with contractors to develop a schedule and get a lead time on materials.
“As you know, materials are scarce and also backordered, so that would dictate the start date of this project,” Terrazas said.
The Taylor Road expansion project has been in the works since 2014 when engineers asked residents along the area for input. But the process has been a slow crawl since then. In a 2020 Progress Times article, Terrazas stressed the importance of widening Taylor Road.
“It’s one of the main corridors for the city of Mission and the city of McAllen,” Terrazas said. “It’s going to bring a lot of good traffic, and the property values are going to increase tremendously. We’re going to have a brand-new road with all the services – the sidewalks, new intersections, new traffic signals, new bridges. It will bring a lot of satisfaction to the citizens of Mission and McAllen.”
Lions Park at 1500 E. Kika De La Garza Loop will eventually become an all-inclusive park customized for people with or without disabilities. The design for the upcoming park is 100 percent complete, and the next step is soliciting bids for construction.
A $1.5 million grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department funds a portion of the project. But the state parks department had to authorize construction before Mission could begin the process. Texas Parks and Wildlife granted the city permission Oct. 7, so Mission can move forward with phase one of the three-phase project.
Phase one consists of an all-inclusive play area, splash pad, walking trail, pavilions, a Bankshot basketball court, new parking and architectural entrances. Phase two is a community center, and phase three is the property along Francisco Ave. and Kika De La Garza Loop.
The city of Mission partnered with the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority to construct the 365 Loop. The loop will go through the south end of Mission to connect to the Anzalduas International Bridge and divert traffic into the expressway.
The project is in tandem with the 365 Tollway — a 12.2 stretch of highway from the Anzalduas Port of Entry to the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge. The RMA is building the new state highway in Hidalgo County for heavy commercial vehicle traffic.
The 365 Tollway is under construction until about 2025, but the 365 Loop has a contracted 150 construction days. The loop project began July 21 and is about 30 percent complete, according to City Manager Randy Perez, who presented a status update at the Oct. 10 Mission City Council workshop. The project cost is $1,207,420.10, and the regional mobility authority will reimburse 50% of the project.
SHARY BUSINESS PARK
The development project near the Anzalduas International Bridge is still ongoing, but the most recent infrastructure work in the area is a little more than halfway complete. All the construction leads to the eventual conglomeration of the Shary Village Industrial Park and El Milagro subdivision.
The city, partnered with the Mission Economic Development Corporation and Killam Development, has been readying the 3,500-plus acres of land to accommodate the growth of the industrial park and eventual homes in that area. Since the real estate company purchased the land in 2019, Killam has promised a mixed-use complex with spaces for entertainment, housing and outdoor space for the community. Killam held events where community members could provide input on what they would like to see in the area.
The entire project will not be complete for the next 15-20 years, but workers have been preparing the site for the industrial park since March, with a projected completion of about May 2023.
The project is $3.9 million, but the United States Economic Development Agency awarded the city a $3 million grant to cover the costs. Killam Development is paying the remaining $910,000.
“It’s a great opportunity for us as a city,” City Manager Randy Perez said. “We’re seeing the growth of our city and, of course, a large amount of interest from developers that are not only developing residential but commercial and of course industrial at the business park.”
The new police and fire station on Military and Schuerbach Road is about 36 percent complete. The project has been in the works for a few years now. Despite a few issues stalling the process, construction finally began in May. The projected completion date is Feb. 9, 2023, and the cost is $6,160,040, which the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) covers entirely.
A 60-day traffic signal trial at Conway and 2 Mile line is already underway. The city is testing an advanced video camera system that detects traffic count and controls the signal lights at Conway and Mile 2.
Usually, loop detectors located in the asphalt control the traffic signals. A sensor in the intersection identifies when vehicles pass or arrive at a certain point on the road. But City Manager Randy Perez said the camera system the city is testing is more sophisticated and expensive than the loop system. The video system still detects vehicles as they approach the intersection to determine whether the lights turn red, yellow or green.