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Construction on railway relocation project in Harlingen to get underway soon

7 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Friday, June 03 2022 Jun 3, 2022 June 03, 2022 6:15 PM June 03, 2022 in News

A major railway relocation project in Harlingen is expected to be underway by this time next year.

The goal is to make streets safer and less congested in the downtown area, according to city officials.

“It’s really great for Cameron County, for the city of Harlingen,” said Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority Executive Director Pete Sepulveda. “It’s going to make downtown Harlingen a lot safer and it really gives us an opportunity to complete the rail relocation plan that started about 15 years ago.”

Nearly two miles of railroad track will be relocated from U.S. 77 Sunshine Strip and Jefferson Avenue to build a new crossing at Commerce Street.

The new track in Harlingen will also connect to the Union Pacific railroad Brownsville subdivision.

The county hopes it will become safer for drivers and create better opportunities for downtown Harlingen business owners.

“[It will] definitely benefit the access to and from downtown,” the Card Shop owner Jorge Garcia said. “Look how beautiful it is out there – you definitely want to be out here. I think the project will do well and hopefully, we’ll see more people come down and enjoy beautiful, historic downtown Harlingen.”

Once completed, the project is expected to allow better traffic flow in the downtown area and reduce traffic jams, according to city officials.

The $5.5 million grant that was awarded to Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority will pay for the two railway curves to be straightened out.

Sepulveda says they still have to go through the engineering and construction phase.

He hopes to start construction within the next five months.

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