Rio Hondo Looks to Attract Business with Downtown Renovation
RIO HONDO – Businesses in Rio Hondo are hurting due to traffic being forced to go around the draw bridge, which is undergoing construction until December.
The city is taking steps to rejuvenate its downtown in hopes of attracting visitors and businesses.
"All the sidewalks will be reconstructed with brick pavers for a more historical look," said city attorney Ben Medina. "(With) benches, some street lights, night lights and some trees."
The project is a partnership with TxDOT. Medina added the project will cost $360,000, with the city paying $30,000, plus the additional costs for lights and trees.
"We cannot just only leave the bridge and reconstruct the bridge, we have to do the other parts of downtown that is really the front door to town,” said Medina.
Ramon Tello, the owner of Cat's Den, a local raspa shop, believes a revitalized look would bring in more visitors.
“A lot of people go through here, especially when the bridge was open," said Tello. "I think if we can give them something to look at, a little nicer, maybe slow them down and we could have some business here."
The city is also acquiring some of the abandoned buildings in the area, with the hope that businesses will want to move in once the project is completed.
Medina mentioned the project is scheduled to be completed once the draw bridge is open for traffic in December.
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