Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres holds a map of some of the colonia drainage project that are getting underway in her precinct. (Courtesy photo)

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning in which the third and final phase of a 13-colonia drainage project was kicked off.

Community leaders along with some of the project engineers, representatives of the drainage district and the Texas General Land Office gathered near Wisconsin Road, between Cesar Chavez Road and Alamo Road for the event hosted by Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres and the Hidalgo County Urban County Program.

“We’ve got phase I, II and III of a drainage project that was funded through the efforts of the Urban County and the GLO in conjunction with Precinct 4,” Torres said.

The county was awarded $4.6 million from the GLO through an application submitted by the Hidalgo County Urban County Program. The $4.6 million is being utilized to fund a drainage project that will relieve some of the areas that were impacted by flooding in 2015.

“We do have all three phases working simultaneously, being constructed simultaneously,” Torres explained. “It’s gonna hopefully relieve some of the flooding that occurred back 2015 that affected 13 area subdivisions in the Edinburg area.”

The 13 colonias that will be supported by the federal funding are San Marcos Acres, San Marcos Acres No. 3, Alamo Estates, Alamo Estates No. 2, Herencia Manor Subdivision, North Alamo Terrace Subdivision, Kaylen Subdivision, Chris Estates, Alberta Meadows, Alberta Meadows, Unit No. 2, Trenton Oaks, Hopewell Gardens and Dan Burns Estates.

Torres said that the three phases are three different sections that will interconnect to an outfall that is expected to relieve the flooding in the 13 colonias.

“We are looking at by the end of summer or early fall of 2020 of all (phases) to be complete,” said Torres. “I know that phase II right now that we’re currently working on is about 91% complete. This is phase III.”

Torres added that the Hidalgo County Urban County Program has sent letters to residents of the impacted areas notifying them that there is money available to help them with their homes.

“The drawback of that, I would venture to say, is that the majority of people by now have already fixed their homes,” Torres said. “It’s hard for people to wait four or five years for those monies to actually become available to them, but needless to say the monies are available. They have mailed out letters to all the different residents in those communities, and they are encouraging them to apply if they haven’t already fixed their homes and so forth.”