Construction will begin on Hidalgo County TMs first toll road by the end of 2015.

After more than seven years of planning, on July 3, the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority was granted environmental approval to begin the state highway 365 project.

The 13 mile long toll road will mostly run alongside the Hidalgo County floodway by the end of 2018.

“It TMs probably the biggest hurdle besides financing for the project, so it TMs a major milestone for the authority, said Pilar Rodriguez, the executive director of the authority.

“There won TMt be any toll booths. You either use a toll tag or we will read your license plate and send you a bill, Rodriguez said.

The $242 million project will be paid for with $61 million collected by Hidalgo County vehicle registration fees, and $140 million from TxDOT grant money. tTe rest will be financed and paid back from money raised by the tolls.

The 13 mile stretch will connect half of the county’s ports of entry, facilitating more industrial growth.

“There TMs a lot of good that come across the border, and they need to get to Hidalgo or through Hidalgo County, and our mobility is limited to the east-west direction on I-2, Rodriguez said.

It TMs all part of a bigger project to create a 230 mile loop around the county.

“If we stay on the current track progressing the way we are we could get it done in 25 years, Rodriguez said.

Construction bids are slated to open next month with plans for dirt to be turned over by the end of the year.

The three year construction project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.