It TMs been four days since the West Rail Bridge opened, and the City of Brownsville proposed ideas on what to do with the old railroad track.
Community members living next to the tracks were left concerned about what the city has in mind. Some locals want to make it a green space for the community. “Noisy and a lot traffic. When you needed to go to work, the train would come and you would waste time waiting,” said Sonia Perez, a Brownsville resident. Perez has been living next to the tracks for more than 10 years and said building a road is not something they want or need. “It could be dangerous for the children if they open a road back there,” said Perez. Last Friday the newest international bridge linking Brownsville to Mexico was completed. It replaced the rail connection that ran from the B&M Bridge through west Brownsville communities.
It TMs an opportunity for “The Friends of the West Rail Trail” to move forward with a plan they’ve had for years. “We want to raise the quality of life in Brownsville. We don’t think that putting another road in will increase the quality of life,” said Larry Hollmann, a Brownsville resident. Hollmann is one of the members of the group who wants a hike and bike trail. However, it TMs up to the county to decide what happens after they remove the tracks. “We have a lot to think about. This is not a short term project, it’s a quality of life issue,” said Cameron County Commissioner Alex Dominguez. There is a lot of money involved in creating a trail, and they will continue discussing with citizens about, according to Dominguez. “Depending of what uses it TMs going to have. And as you know right now its budget time, I TMm looking to pinch every penny we have for the county. It’s something we will be discussing with the community,” said Dominguez. Many ideas are being tossed around, including adding a road with a bike and hike trail next to it, but this idea are bringing concerns to some community members. “Cars are unpredictable and are moving at a high-rate of speed, especially on a long stretch like that. We like something that is a safe environment,” said Hollmann. Hollmann hopes the potential new trail will give the community a break from years of noise. Cameron County Judge Pete Sepulveda said the next immediate step is the removal of the tracks. I
It TMs now up to Union Pacific to determine when that will take place with Sepulveda estimating it will happen in about six months.