MCALLEN, Texas – Pete Alvarez, the Pharr District engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, has given an update on the South Padre Island 2nd Causeway project.

Alvarez spoke at Edwards Abstract & Title Company’s 18th Annual State of Real Estate Forum, which was held at the McAllen Convention Center on Thursday, March 11.

Alvarez gave his remarks about the 2nd Causeway during the Q&A portion of the program. Asked by a member of the audience where things were at with the project, Alvarez said there are a number of environmental hurdles to clear and the price tag is big.

Alvarez said: “So, the second causeway, in fact, we had a meeting last week to talk about the scope, updating the environmental process. I would think that the earliest we would see a second causeway would probably be five to seven years from now. That is a guesstimate because of the tremendous environmental challenges that we would face.”

Alvarez then pointed to a color-coded TxDOT map of South Texas transportation projects being shown on a big screen. It showed the 2nd Causeway itself in blue, which means it has been identified as a project but that the money is not yet available. A projected highway from the 2nd Causeway to I-69 East was also color-coded blue. However, there was a small section – FM 106 – in red. This means the project is completed.

“The goal here is to do that second causeway… you all may be able to see that… there is a blue line that is the second causeway. FM 106 is in red, that project has been completed. And then we have the Outer Parkway, which is being developed by CCRMA and ultimately connecting to the I-69 Connector.”

CCRMA stands for Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority.

“So, these projects have been identified. If you look there, the only one being completed is FM 106. So, there is still a lot of need. That project is $750 million to $800 million. That is not a drop in the bucket, folks. That is a lot of money. So, we are going to have to phase that project to make it happen,” Alvarez said.

“And so, to answer your question, five to seven years at the earliest. I think that is when we would see a 2nd Causeway.”

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