(The Center Square) – Gov. Greg Abbott called on the Texas Transportation Commission and Texas Department of Transportation on June 26 to grant $150 million in the Unified Transportation Program to fund the construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor project in the Rio Grande Valley.
The IBTC is a proposed non-tolled, four-lane divided roadway that would provide interstate access for several international ports of entry and expedite the movement of goods and freight through the border region, according to a June 26 news release.
“This project will bolster international trade and accelerate throughput at border checkpoints to better move freight and improve security,” Abbott said. “Texas is the top exporting state and with this investment, we will boost our state's economy in the Rio Grande Valley and across our state.”
The proposed project would be constructed in two phases.
First, the construction of four 12-foot frontage roads with 10-foot outside shoulders and 4-to-10-foot inside shoulders from south Pharr to FM 493 and mainlanes from the future Valley View Interchange to I-2.
Second, the construction of four 12-foot mainlanes with 10-foot inside and outside shoulders divided by a concrete traffic barrier. Ideally, the design would also provide for overpasses and ramps at major intersections.
The governor's office said the IBTC would begin in south Pharr and extend north to I-2 in Donna. The total length of the proposed project is 13.15 miles and would traverse the cities of Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, and Donna.
Abbott's requested allotment would provide most of the funding for the project. The funds will also allow the Texas Department of Transportation to place the project on the state highway system.
“Texas must bolster our ports and roadway infrastructure to ensure we remain the #1 exporting state in America and a hub for global trade,” Abbott said in a tweet.