BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., has confirmed that finding the money to build a second causeway to South Padre Island is one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top legislative priorities for the 87th session.
The new session will be gaveled in on Jan. 12, 2020, and in readiness, Valley leaders are honing their legislative agendas.
Supporters of the second causeway project received a boost recently when state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and a member of the Senate Committee on Transportation, said the time is now to find the funding.
“It is most definitely one of our priorities,” Treviño said of the second causeway project, at a recent news conference.
“I think the time is now. It has been for the last ten years. I was glad to see Sen. Hinojosa’s comments. We have expressed our advocacy to him, to Sen. Lucio, to all of our local delegation, our state representatives, both in Cameron and Hidalgo counties.”
Treviño is vice chairman of the transportation policy board of the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. The group is the conduit for most transportation dollars that flow into the Valley from the state and federal governments. Treviño pointed out that the second causeway project is a top priority of the RGV MPO because of its regional importance.
“It is a high priority. The best, most effective economic development promoter for the region that all of us can benefit from would be the causeway and then, obviously, the development of the state highway, from the second causeway all the way along Monte Cristo to Edinburg,” Treviño said.
The county judge noted that the Queen Isabella Causeway, the existing bridge linking SPI to Port Isabel, is now 46 years old.
“The new causeway is way past due. We see the lifespan of the original causeway passing 40 years so we have got to do our part. I hope that we will be able to get the appropriations we need in order to get that project off of dead center,” Treviño said.
“We continue to work on it from an engineering standpoint, from a planning standpoint and from a design standpoint. Mr. (Pete) Sepulveda, our administrator and executive director of the RMA (is working on it). We continue to advocate for it at the RGV MPO.”
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