Hidalgo County Pct. 1 Commissioner A. C. Cuellar, Jr. and the Texas Department of Transportation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Mile 2 West Project in Mercedes, Texas on Friday, July 12, 2013 at South Texas ISD in Mercedes.
The project will improve transportation access and mobility along Mile 2 West, widening 5.19 miles of roadway from Mile 12 North to US Highway 83. This is the second phase of the Mile 2 West project, which commenced in 2002 and widened the road from State Hwy 107 to Mile 12 North; project development for this phase began in 2008 and the design completion, environmental clearance and right of way coordination were completed in March, 2013. In June 2013, the awarded vendor was given notice to proceed, and construction is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks.
U. S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, who earmarked funding for the first phase of the project, was in attendance to mark the occasion of a project that has been years in the making. Local city, chamber and school officials from Mercedes and Weslaco, as well as representatives from South Texas ISD (located on Mile 2 W), were also in attendance to help celebrate the commencement of the project. Pct. 2 Commissioner Hector "Tito" Palacios and representatives from the County Judge's Office and Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios' Office were also in attendance, demonstrating their support of the project.
Commissioner Cuellar and Pct. 1 Chief Administrator Raul Lozano thanked the partners of the project, including TxDOT, the City of Mercedes, and Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, who all contributed resources and funding to the approximately $9 million project.
The ceremony was held alongside Mile 2 W, and it was evident that the traffic navigating through the narrow, two-lane road, including heavy machinery, trucks, and other vehicles, would benefit tremendously from wider lanes and shoulders. Commissioner Cuellar also noted that the project would improve transportation and access for buses transporting children who live along Mile 2 W to school, noting that transportation directors of the school districts would appreciate a safer, more accessible roadway.
After the ceremony, the special guests and attendees grabbed ceremonial shovels and turned the dirt over, marking the commencement of the Mile 2 W project. Construction on the project is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks.