PHARR, Texas – The City of Pharr in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation held a public community meeting on Tuesday for residents to review and comment on the proposed parallel expansion to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
Officials from bridge, TXDOT and the City of Pharr were available to answer questions, provide comment cards and present a pre-recorded video – part of their virtual community meeting held the day prior – explaining the details of the construction project.
Informational poster boards in Spanish and English were also displayed around the room as well as a large arial map of the existing bridge and the proposed twin structure in the center.
The parallel span will be west of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and will extend for 1.35 miles to the natural boundary of the Rio Grande River. Mexican engineering firm Caxcan S.A. will oversee construction for the Reynosa side.
Currently, the bridge has three northbound lanes and one southbound for commercial and noncommercial traffic. Like the existing bridge, the parallel span will also have four lanes, but with two northbound and two southbound lanes planned for the mixed traffic.
Once the twin span is operational, the existing bridge will be solely dedicated to northbound commercial traffic. This will expedite the increasing traffic at the port of entry and heavily reduce congestion and wait times.
The timeline provided by TXDOT projects a construction start date of August 2024, but Luis Bazan, bridge director of Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, says that would be a “worst-case scenario.” By configuring feasible work days, pre-casting some of the bridge components and working with the federal government to complete environmental impact studies required by the National Environmental Policy Act, Bazan says they will cut much of the time anticipated for the project. If the environmental assessments are completed by the end of the year, construction can start as earlier as 2023. Bazan says with the estimated 14 to 18-month construction period, the twin span could be completed by August 2024.
For schematics and more information, visit TXDOT’s website here. Comment cards are also available for download and will be accepted until May 18.
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