BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — In Cameron County, the Regional Mobility Authority is working on multiple highway projects in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The independent government agency works to facilitate travel through Cameron County by reducing congestion and facilitating economic growth in the Valley.

Pete Sepulveda, executive director of the Regional Mobility Authority, shared just how big the projects are.

“We have a one-and-a-half billion system project at the RMA that we’ve been working on for a number of years,” Sepulveda said.

He said some projects are ready for construction.

“We’ve got some projects that are shovel-ready, which means they’re ready to go to construction,” Sepulveda said. “We have other projects that are in the engineering face. and then we’ve got projects that are in the design phase.”

He said one project the RMA is working on will finally give the Valley Interstate Highway 79-E — an interstate system connecting Brownsville directly to Corpus Christi.

Sepulveda believes this new interstate system will allow the Valley to compete for other projects that will lead to economic growth.

“We’ve got a plan in place; we got a partner with TxDOT and we’re hoping that in the next year or so we get the remaining projects fully funded and we move on,” Sepulveda said.

Another project the RMA is working on is coordinated with Customs and Border Protection at the Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville.

Sepulveda said the project is currently underway and is 60% complete.

“We are constructing as we speak an additional four lanes that will be used primarily for passenger vehicles,” he said.

Juan Rodriguez works as a driver crossing cars across the border and said those new lanes will allow him to work more efficiently. 

“There are times when we don’t get to our trip on time or we get there late, and it affects us I think once they open the new lanes it will be a lot faster crossing the bridge,” Rodriguez said.

Other projects the RMA is working on are the East Loop project, the South Padre second access point project, and the Harlingen rail improvement project.