Hidalgo Co. Completes Drainage, Road Improvements

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EDINBURG – Parts of Hidalgo County Precinct 4 are now better prepared for a hurricane or historic rain event. The precinct is wrapping up 26 of 30 projects to improve drainage and flood-damaged roads.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios said his precinct is in much better shape than it was two years ago, when historic flooding left much of the area under water.

“They’ll be able to sustain more rainfall. Of course, it all depends on the category of hurricane, but for the most part the improvement of the drainage and roadway is good for a few decades,” he said. “I mean we're able to really sustain some of the events we have from time to time.”

At least five of the colonias that didn't have any drainage system two years ago do now.

Just this year, Precinct 4 paved 26 miles of flood-damaged roads.

“We were very systematic in our approach. We looked at all the drainage infrastructure. In order to preserve this road, we have to have an outfall. We have to have good drainage. That's what's plagued us for years,” he said.

Palacios says most of the drainage projects were completed with state and federal grant money.

He said as the county grows, the drainage improvements will have to continue.

Residents like Adan Maldonado Jr. are breathing sighs of relief.

“It’s an improvement around here for sure,” he said.

Maldonado said he remembers what happened two years ago when 10 inches of rain fell in a short period of time. Since then, he and his neighbors fear rainy forecasts and hurricane season.

“During all these hurricanes out here this past summer, crews were out here cleaning drainage ditches and cutting grass. So I feel safe,” he said.

The real test of the new drainage system will be the next big rain event.

The latest project will wrap up later this week. It repaved and created drainage along Tower Road and surrounding colonias. 


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