Direct highway connector halfway complete

Direct highway connector halfway complete
News Center 23
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 7:07pm

If you live in the Brownsville area, then you've undoubtedly seen the SH-550 Connector Project.

It will directly link I-69 and SH-550, which will help commercial traffic flow more directly by avoiding residential areas. As of right now, drivers must get off the expressway, drive underneath it and get back on to stay on track:

"This route gives them direct access, from the Interstate to the Port of Brownsville," said Cameron County administrator Pete Sepulveda. "Um, whether they're coming in from Mexico or they're going to Mexico, they'll be able to use this ten-mile stretch of road which will be of limited access and be able to get to their destination a lot quicker than they do today."

At $44 million dollars, the project costs a pretty penny. City officials say more than 85 percent of that money went to contractors.

Not only has the Connector Project created immediate jobs for contractors and construction workers, but it's also expected to help the local economy thrive in coming years.

"Historically, any time you build any type of infrastructure, in this case it's transportation infrastructure, you see growth in the area, and so we're confident that in the next couple of years we're gonna see industrial development, we're gonna see commercial development, retail development," said Sepulveda.

54 of the 55 contractors are local. Sepulveda says contractually, everything is set to be finished by September and hopes that the direct connector will be open to drivers come October.

"Right now the project is fifty-five percent complete," said Sepulveda. "Of the 195 beams that the project requires, we've got about 25 left." 

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23. 

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