PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) – State and city leaders formally marked the new reconstruction of the Interstate-2 and Interstate 69C interchange that will make traffic improvements in Pharr, McAllen, and San Juan. The entire project costs $303 million.
“It will produce more business more commerce where we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure,” said State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa.
Pharr Mayor Dr. Ambrioso Hernandez said this new project was many years in the making for the entire valley.
“The majority of traffic goes through central I-69 which is here, and we were always concerned about safety,” Dr. Hernandez said. ” We don’t want any more accidents, we don’t want semis next to our kids.”
The reconstruction of the interchange will stretch 7.8 miles to Pharr, McAllen, and San Juan. Dr. Hernandez said having the valley’s three Metropolitan Planning Organizations come together for this project, was the main factor in getting funding from the state.
Dr. Hernandez is also the acting head of the merged MPO in the Rio Grande Valley.
“Everybody united we wrote to the legislatures approached the chairman of TxDot and the commission, they saw the data they realized it’s absolutely a priority for the state of Texas,” Dr. Hernandez said. ” Yes it is located in Pharr but what we do in Pharr has ramifications for the Rio Grande Valley.”
Construction won’t be completed until 2023, in the meantime drivers can expect to see a lot of traffic along the interchange. But while many may find it frustrating, TxDot said the improvements being made will benefit them in the future.
This is a growing pain, but it is a good thing to have because we understand that we are growing not only in population not only in number but in education, we are also growing in economics,” said Octavio Saenz with the Texas Department of Transportation. ” If you don’t have the infrastructure the economic impact is hindered.
And while the new improvements will give the state of Texas better access to the RGV, city leaders hope locals will see the bright side of the temporary traffic.
“We have to be patient, this is nothing compared to others,” Dr. Hernandez said. ” I understand people are frustrated, but in the end, it gives us a better product for decades to come.”