One of Peñitas’ main roads to be repaired

PEÑITAS — One of the city’s major roads will soon get a much needed facelift.

Tom Gill Road, which runs north to south, was originally set to be repaired where it intersects with U.S. Expressway 83, said City Manager Omar Romero. That was going to be funded with about $244,000 from the Community Development Block Grant, the city had received for 2017 that had yet to be used.

But when city officials realized they had an additional $261,000 in CBDG funds left over from prior years, they decided to overlay the road from Highway 83 to Mile 5 Road.

“We spoke to the county commissioner, Joe Flores, about possibly partnering up to where the city would purchase the materials with its funds,” Romero said. “And then the county, with its equipment and manpower, would actually do the work therefore saving money and us being able to do more with less.”

In its current state, the road has many potholes and floods whenever it rains.

About 25,000 to 35,000 vehicles travel along that road every day, according to Romero, and they often have to swerve to avoid potholes.

“So they turn into oncoming traffic and we have accidents on the road,” he said and added those potholes also cause damage to city vehicles. “It’s a savings to the taxpayers as well because we don’t have as much maintenance that we have to do on vehicles.”

The funds are already allocated but the city is now waiting on the county to do an interlocal agreement and for Hidalgo County Precinct 3 to have the crews available to begin the project.

Flores, commissioner for Precinct 3, said he anticipated the interlocal agreement would be finalized soon but said he wanted to ensure everything was done right.

Once the project gets underway, Romero said it would only take few weeks.