By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
Last week, local residents, business owners and other professionals got a chance to hear what the state’s transportation department has in store for the Rio Grande Valley, as TxDOT District Engineer Pedro R. Alvarez discussed plans to create what would be the fifth largest Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the state of Texas. Alvarez was the guest speaker at Coffee and Conversation, a regular event sponsored by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce.
Addressing the audience in his opening remarks, Alvarez prefaced his presentation by saying, “I think it’s important to make sure I reach out to the community and understand and listen to what some of the concerns are, and provide some information and education as to where we’re going and what we’re doing. My intention is to be an advocate for the Valley.”
Currently, there are three MPOs in the Valley: Brownsville, Harlingen-San Benito and Hidalgo County. According to Alvarez, one of the hot topics recently has been the potential merger of these three to create a larger and more powerful entity to advocate for projects in the area.
“It would be a really big step for the Valley as a whole, because it would enable us to compete for those big dollars,” Alvarez explained.
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