EDINBURG, RGV – The chairman of the Texas House Committee on Transportation says cities in the Rio Grande Valley should form a coalition to ensure their voices are heard as a new border transportation master plan is being developed.

State Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg made the suggestion during a wide-ranging interview with the Rio Grande Guardian.

State Rep. Terry Canales
State Rep. Terry Canales

TxDOT, in collaboration and partnership with the Border Trade Advisory Committee, is working with U.S. and Mexican agencies and stakeholders to develop the Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP).

The master plan will identify the cross-border challenges of moving people and goods and will include analysis of existing transportation systems – roadway, transit, pedestrian, pipeline, airport, maritime, and rail.

TXDOT is set to hold a meeting about the BTMP at UT-Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville on Monday, Dec. 9.

“The border master plan, when it comes to TxDOT and cities, our cities in the Rio Grande Valley, they need to form a coalition so they are not necessarily voicing their own separate opinion,” Canales told the Rio Grande Guardian, as he made the case for a regional approach.

“TxDOT wants input from all these border cities. I would say we are going to be more powerful together. There is strength in numbers. It is imperative we all get on the same page and we try to approach the border master plan, as far as the Rio Grande Valley goes, as a region.”

Other topics covered in the podcast with Rep. Canales include a second causeway for South Padre Island, high-speed rail, the infrastructure needs of land ports of entry, and the dredging of Texas seaports, including those of Corpus Christi, Brownsville and Port Mansfield.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story and podcast shows the Pharr Interchange.