Hidalgo snags $2.5M EDA road, drainage grant

PHARR — The city of Hidalgo has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

The grant was announced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, and will be utilized for roadway and drainage repairs to Produce Road.

“This investment will ensure that the city of Hidalgo has the infrastructure it needs to weather future storms,” Gonzalez said in a news release. “As our local economy confronts new and unprecedented challenges like natural disasters and the coronavirus, the ability to make these important upgrades is all the more important. I will continue to push for additional funds that will empower South Texas to continue being an epicenter for international trade and economic growth.”

Produce Road sees a high flow of traffic given its location and connections to 10th and 23rd streets. Officials estimate the flow of traffic on Produce Road can reach as high as 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

“It’s going to have a great impact in our community,” Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado said. “Obviously, that money is going to go to improve our infrastructure on Produce Road, which is part of our industrial complex here in Hidalgo.”

The grant, which will be located in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the area.

“We’re projecting that we’re going to have an investment that will produce about 200 jobs in the near future,” Coronado said. “We have different produce corporations that are interested in our locations, so they’re going to come and invest money here.”

The EDA grant will be matched with a $625,000 local investment. The improvements to Produce Road mark the second EDA project for Hidalgo in the last two years.

“It is very significant, and I had the opportunity to thank Congressman Vicente Gonzalez because he’s doing a great job,” Coronado said. “Our community is a small community. We have close to 16,000, 17,000 people, and obviously the produce is having a boom. It’s going to create a lot of jobs hopefully for our community members.”