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Hidalgo Co. Proposes Border Wall Project Efficient in Flood Control

3 years 9 months 3 days ago Wednesday, March 01 2017 Mar 1, 2017 March 01, 2017 9:09 PM March 01, 2017 in News

GRANJENO - Hidalgo County commissioners signed a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposing to build a wall capable of keeping any flood waters out.

County leaders said the government should make sure a border wall protects the county in more ways than one when it comes to its construction.

Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 said a larger barrier, but similar to existing ones, will help achieve the security goals the federal government wants. According to them, it will stimulate the economy and keep flood waters out.

The Rio Grande, located less than a mile away from Granjeno, is partially lined by levees protecting residents of any future floods.

Yet, the concrete barrier starts less than two miles west and ends outside in a partial wall at the Anzalduas Park in Mission.

Granjeno resident Nick Anzaldua carries the same family name as the park and the international bridge.

“My great grandfather had a house out here, somewhere on the property,” he said.

The concrete levee was built behind Anzaldua’s childhood home in 2008, according to the county's letter. The 20-mile-long levee is part of seven portions built that same year.

In their missive to the government, Hidalgo County commissioners requested a similar wall that will extend 50 miles south of Hidalgo County. The county signed on to a plan, authored by Houston-based Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation.

The work would include additions from south of Palmview to the city of Hidalgo, from Hidalgo to Donna’s international bridge and then to a small portion west of Progreso. The project would end from the town of Relampago until it reaches the Cameron County line.

Officials said it would add 30 miles of new barrier, in addition to more construction near Anzalduas.

Anzaldua said he questions whether the government is planning to construct through his property once again.

“If they were to do that or try to do that, I know that a lot of my friends and family here will fight it and will stand up,” he said.

The government still hasn’t finalized the wall’s placement. County officials said they hope the government chooses its plan.

Back in 2008, the county paid $58 million to help with the construction of the concrete levee. The county’s drainage district manager said the county is withholding any monetary help for a wall this time. They hope the government will see the value of their plan.  

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