DONNA, RGV – Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization has announced that the City of Donna will receive $272,593 in federal funds to improve sidewalks throughout the community.

The grant is being funded through the State’s Transportation Alternatives Program. The program is aimed at ensuring safety for pedestrians in the city. Official confirmation of the funding allocation will be made at HCMPO’s April 20th board meeting.

The HCMPO grant will require the City to provide a $68,148 match for a total project cost of $340,741.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s website, roadways that do not have sidewalks are twice as likely to have pedestrian crashes.

Jon Ray Bocanegra, a transportation planner at the Texas Department of Transportation, said: “The Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization has announced the Donna Sidewalk Project as a recipient of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding program.

“TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and will help the City of Donna address pedestrian and bicycle issues within the scope of the project. The HCMPO congratulates the City of Donna on being one of the 2017 – 2018 TAP funding recipients.”

Other cities in the Rio Grande Valley also applied for federal funding and will receive official confirmation of their successful applications at HCMPO’s April 20th board meeting. Under “planning” funding, the McAllen Vision Zero Planning Study will receive $120,000, and the City of Pharr’s Comprehensive Pedestrian Safety and Wellness Program will receive $134,000.

Under “construction” funding, PSJA ISD’s Tri-City Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project will receive $1,577,340, and the Cano Hike & Bike Trail Lighting Project will receive $422,400, along with the City of Donna’s Sidewalk Project securing $272,593.

Mike Mesa, the City of Donna’s grant consultant, said: “We are very happy the MPO funded this project. It represents a larger effort set forth by the City Council to address core infrastructure needs throughout the city.”

At a workshop two weekends ago, Interim City Manager Ernesto Silva informed the City Council that the proposed streets that will receive new sidewalks include Main Street, Scobey Avenue, D. Salinas International Boulevard, and South Avenue.

The community can expect to see work initiated on these sidewalks by this Summer and expects for the projects to be completed by the Fall, Silva explained.

When asked about the proposed sidewalks to be installed in the City, School Superintendent Fernando Castillo said: “Knowing that sidewalk improvements will be made near some of our campuses will no doubt bring comfort to our school district community. We congratulate our partners, the City of Donna, for seeking the funding for these improvements and looking out for the well-being of our residents especially our children. Safety is priority at all our 22 schools.”