By DAVID LOPEZ
Special to the PRESS
A second causeway uniting visitors to South Padre Island is in the works.
The Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority (CCRMA) is currently conducting the project’s environmental phase, which could take about three years to complete.
Executive Administra-tive Assistant Lulu Mayorga said the CCRMA was leading the project development phase in 2009 until TxDot changed its policy.
“The 2nd Access Project was being funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through TxDOT to develop the project’s Advanced Project Development (APD) Phase to be a toll road. TxDOT halted the funding due to a change in policy,” she wrote in an email.
The access project is planned to be eight miles long, beginning near Holly Beach and traversing the Laguna Madre area.
“The new causeway would begin at SH 100 and travel north along Buena Vista Road to the intersection of FM 106/FM 510 then turn east towards SPI landing north of the existing Convention Center just south of Beach Access 5,” Mayorga wrote, stating that this was the original alignment. “Currently the CCRMA is analyzing if this route is still the preferred route. Since 2017, several properties within the proposed corridor have been purchased by USFWS causing potential issues with the preferred alternative,”
The current estimate for the Advanced Project Development Phase (which includes the environmental phase and engineering schematic) is about $3 million, with the total estimated cost of the project being $500 million.
Mayorga said the APD phase is being covered with local funds from Cameron County, the City of South Padre Island, and the CCRMA. The CCRMA will be working with TxDOT and the FHWA to help look for federal and state funds for the construction of the project.
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