Today, Governor Greg Abbott called on the Texas Transportation Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation to allocate $150 million in the Unified Transportation Program (UTP) to support construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor (IBTC) in the Rio Grande Valley.
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“I applaud Governor Abbott for his commitment to investing in our border infrastructure and for calling on the Texas Transportation Commission and TxDOT to allocate $150 million in the Unified Transportation Program to support the construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor project in the Rio Grande Valley. This project will not only improve transportation and trade between the United States and Mexico, but it will also create jobs and boost economic growth in the region. I also want to thank all our RGV officials, including Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, for his tireless advocacy for this project and for working closely with our legislative delegation to make it a reality. Governor Abbott, in collaboration and with the support of Chairman Terry Canales and the Valley legislative delegation, has kept his promise to prioritize the infrastructure needs of our border communities. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project will have on the Rio Grande Valley and the Texas economy.”
Governor Abbott Calls For $150 Million To Boost Rio Grande Valley Roadway Project
For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2023
AUSTIN, TX – Governor Greg Abbott today called on the Texas Transportation Commission and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to allocate $150 million in the Unified Transportation Program to support construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor (IBTC) project in the Rio Grande Valley. The IBTC is a proposed non-tolled, four-lane divided roadway that would provide direct interstate access for several international ports of entry and expedite the movement of goods and freight through the border region.
“Strengthening our ports and roadway infrastructure to support international trade will help Texas remain the No. 1 exporting state and a global economic powerhouse,” said Governor Abbott. “Today, I called on the Texas Transportation Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation to allocate $150 million to support the construction of the IBTC project in the Rio Grande Valley. This project will bolster international trade and accelerate throughput at border checkpoints to better move freight and improve security. Texas is the top exporting state and with this investment, we will boost our state’s economy in the Rio Grande Valley and across our state.”
“Enhancing safety, improving mobility, and easing congestion on other state and city roads are also direct benefits of the IBTC project,” said Texas Transportation Chairman Bruce Bugg. “For local communities, IBTC would mean less truck traffic on local Farm to Market roadways through school zones and business districts.”
“The IBTC project has been under planning and development for a number of years, and the funding requested by Governor Abbott would provide the foundation for ensuring construction of this critical project for the region,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Alex Meade. “Construction for the IBTC project, in collaboration with the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority, is slated to begin in 2026 and is anticipated to take three years to complete.”
The Governor’s requested allotment would provide the majority of the funding needed to advance the IBTC project, and the remaining funds needed for construction would be authorized with state formula highway funding available to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The funding will also allow TxDOT to place the project on the state highway system and fund additional project development costs related to highway design, right-of-way acquisition, and utility relocation.
The proposed project would be constructed in two phases:
- Phase I: the construction of four 12-foot frontage roads (two in each direction), with 10-foot outside shoulders and 4-to-10-foot inside shoulders from south Pharr to FM 493 and mainlanes from the future Valley View Interchange to I-2.
- Phase II: the construction of four 12-foot mainlanes (two in each direction), with 10-foot inside and outside shoulders divided by a concrete traffic barrier. The ultimate design would also provide for overpasses and ramps at major intersections.
The IBTC would begin in south Pharr and extend north to I-2 in Donna. The total length of the proposed project is 13.15 miles and would traverse the cities of Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, and Donna.