By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Between summertime traffic clogging Highway 100 and potholes slowing down cars on side streets, driving in Port Isabel can be a difficult task. Driving woes were one of the issues the Port Isabel City Commission discussed during its regular meeting Tuesday.
During public comments, resident Juanita Stringfield stood to speak of the numerous potholes on Island Avenue, saying they’re beginning to cause damage to vehicles. Part of The Fingers, Island Avenue is the only way in and out for many residents.
Though the commissioners could not address Stringfield directly during public comments — per the advice of City attorney Gilberto Hinojosa — a new section of the agenda wherein City department heads were made available to answer questions from the commissioners allowed them to troubleshoot the situation.
Public Works Director Balde Alaniz addressed the commission, saying, “We have identified the area.” Alaniz explained how the specific topography of that section of the City, including a water table of only three feet, combined with a road base made of caliche, means the streets fall into disrepair quickly. “The caliche base is inadequate for the base of the road,” he said.
The commission mulled the idea of using a material such as limestone instead. Alaniz cautioned the base material must be considered carefully; too hard of a substance could break the water table, too soft would mean a road surface that falls apart too quickly, he said. “Whatever we do, it’s going to have concerns over the years,” he said.
Expressing impatience with the condition of the streets, Commissioner Juan Jose “J.J.” Zamora said, “Fix it now anyway. We can’t just let it go just because there’s another problem.”
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