Board names interim Hidalgo, Anzalduas bridges director

McALLEN — Juan Olaguibel was named McAllen’s interim superintendent of bridges Monday, a director position that oversees the Anzalduas and Hidalgo bridges.

Olaguibel, who has been the deputy director for nearly 10 years, will take over his interim role later this month following Superintendent of Bridges Rigoberto Villarreal submitting his resignation last week.

The board of directors overseeing the Anzalduas International Bridge and Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge made the move unanimously Monday at their monthly meeting, and a search is underway for a full-time superintendent of bridges.

Olaguibel thanked Villarreal for his “leadership and mentorship these last 10 years.”

State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, was on hand at Monday’s meeting to present a Texas state flag to Villarreal, who said he is resigning following a difficult year personally.

“He’s been running the bridges for 10 years, and it’s not an easy task,” Hinojosa said. “Rigo, on behalf of myself and Sen. Eddie Lucio, I wanted to present you with a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol.”

A representative from the office of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, was also in attendance to read a letter for Villarreal from Cornyn.

“You by all accounts are an exemplary leader of south Texas and it has been an honor working with you over the years,” Cornyn said in the letter. Villarreal hosted a fundraiser for Cornyn at his home in the fall.

During Villarreal’s tenure, in 2016, the Anzalduas bridge began crossing empty tractor trailer trucks heading southbound into Mexico, a project the bridge worked years to make happen. However, challenges remain, as the bridge seeks to implement full-service commercial traffic.

mferman@themonitor.com