Del Rio City Council members on Tuesday will consider accepting $1 million from the city’s economic development corporation for the design and construction of two new traffic lanes between the international bridge and the port of entry.

The council is expected to vote on the resolution “to authorize funding of up to $1 million from the Del Rio Economic Development Corporation (DREDC) to assist with the preliminary design and construction of a two-lane roadway at the international bridge.”

In an memorandum presented to the council as part of its agenda packet for Tuesday’s meeting, Del Rio Economic Development Director Oriana Fernandez noted in October 2019, the DREDC’s board of directors approved a motion to commit up to $1 million, payable in installments, to the city toward a design plan and future construction costs of the two-lane roadway between the international bridge and the Del Rio Port of Entry.

Need for the two-lane roadway was brought to the city’s attention earlier in 2019 by Del Rio Port Director Liliana Flores.

She said there was a need for a two-lane roadway from the base of the international bridge to the newly-established expedited cargo lanes at the Del Rio Port of Entry, a distance of about 1,700 linear feet. Flores asked the city to consider constructing the roadway and associated drainage, signage, lighting and fencing, then donating those improvements to the federal government.

Fernandez said initial rough estimates for the cost of the roadway expansion project are $1 million to $1.5 million for construction, with an estimated $250,000 for design services.

She noted the city council has authorized the city manager to issue a request for proposals for the design work to Bain Medina Bain, the city’s on-call engineers and consultants, and a price of $54,000 has been agreed on for the preliminary design work by the firm.

In her memo, Fernandez also notes in December, the DREDC board of directors passed a resolution dedicating up to $1 million in funding to assist with the project.

“The Del Rio Economic Development Corporation has committed up to $1 million towards the design and construction of this two-lane roadway because it will speed Customs processing, thereby, encouraging more import trade from Mexico. International trade is not only economic development for Del Rio, but it is vital to the development of our region. Quicker processing at the bridge encourages businesses to use the Del Rio Port of Entry over competing ports of entry,” Fernandez wrote.

She noted the expansion of the roadway between the international bridge and the Del Rio Port of Entry “would expedite and enhance the flow of traffic at the port of entry.”

“This would better promote commerce between the United States and Mexico by expediting the movement of freight and diminishing the loss of returns on longer wait times. It would also increase bridge traffic and thereby increases revenues, not only for the city of Del Rio, but for all those parties using the port of entry to transport freight in and out of Del Rio and Mexico,” Fernandez wrote.

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