Middle Ground: Construction to start on Boca Chica medians - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Middle Ground: Construction to start on Boca Chica medians

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Posted: Friday, October 18, 2019 8:15 pm

Road construction is scheduled to begin Monday on Boca Chica Boulevard from Expressway 77/83 to International Boulevard as the Texas Department of Transportation will begin installing medians on the boulevard.

The $3 million project, which covers 1.5 miles, will take about 14 months to complete, and the installation of raised medians and sidewalks will be done in segments, said TxDOT spokesman Octavio Saenz.

The state contract was awarded to Texas Cordia.

Officials said the changes should improve traffic flow on one of the city’s busiest boulevards. Some lane closures could occur as the project progresses.

“Sometimes you don’t know what closures are needed until you are actually working,” Saenz said. “You work within the scope but then for the safety of the public you have to do the (lane) closures.”

A public meeting on the project was held in 2018, and officials said the medians would enhance safety, reduce congestion and improve mobility on the roadway.

According to TxDOT, Boca Chica Boulevard is ranked 93rd out of 100 congested roads in the state. The annual hours of delay per mile is 186,259 while the annual congestion cost is $5,531,648.

Crews have already placed signs on Boca Chica Boulevard to alert motorists of the upcoming construction project. Additional signs will be erected as construction begins and continues.

The project calls for full median openings at Paredes Line Road, Old Port Isabel Road, Strawberry Square, King Highways and Security Drive. A directional median opening will be on North Street.

The project also calls for the removal of traffic lights at Simpson Street — in front of the H-E-B store on Boca Chica Boulevard — and at Los Amigos Plaza and Home Depot Intersections.

Saenz encourages motorists to slow down while driving through the construction zone and to allow a little extra traveling time.

“That is of the upmost importance to slow down whenever you see the work going on, not only for the safety of the construction workers but also for the safety of drivers,” Saenz said.

State statistics indicate that one out of every five deaths in a work zone involve a construction worker and the other four are members of the public.

“We mention them because we want the public to be safe. This is a project that is going to benefit the area,” Saenz said.

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com

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