MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — The traffic going towards McAllen has notably increased and the Texas Department of Transportation says it is in part due to the construction of Interstate 2.
“So, what we call the flyover that connects I-2 to I-69 and vice versa right now it’s only one lane and it’s going to be changed to two lanes,” said Octavio Saenz, the public information officer for TxDOT.
Saenz explains that the original interchange was built in the ’90s based on population data from the ’80s. Since then, the Rio Grande Valley’s population has grown, and so are the highways.
“Instead of being 6 lanes –you know 3 in each direction—it’s going to be 8 lanes 4 in each direction,” said Saenz.
The 7.8-mile-long project extends from 2nd street all the way to FM 2557, and construction began only last year. With a three-year timeline till completion and 300-million-dollars, the goal of the project is to make traffic flow much easier in one of the most populated parts of the highway.
“Because it’s one of the most traveled areas we have around 140 thousand average daily traffic in that section,” said Saenz.
Though residents traveling on the expressway may be experiencing more traffic, Saenz still encourages people to slow down to avoid collisions. Saenz also says that work zones are where ticket fines are doubled.
“One out of five people who have passed away due to an accident in a work zone has been construction workers, the other four have been members of the public,” said Saenz.
Both city mayors and state representatives have pushed for this project to be completed to accommodate the flow of traffic and better the flow of trade.
“For the purposes of evacuation, for the purposes of moving traffic efficiently during a catastrophe, an emergency, and or a weather event,” said Terry Canales, Texas state representative of District 40.
“Thank God this is happening, when they finally get on that road they’ll be smiling–they’ll be knowing they’re in a safer place,” said Ambrosio Hernandez, mayor of the city of Pharr.
To watch an explanation on the project, visit here.
For more information on the project, visit here.