New Harlingen fire station nears completion

HARLINGEN — A fire protection upgrade for the west side of the city could be here before the end of the year.

The $1.5 million, 7,000-square-foot fire station being built on a 6.09-acre site at Stuart Place and Brennaman roads is about 60 percent complete, city officials said Monday.

“The completion date for the project is projected for December of this year,” City Manager Dan Serna said. “It may be sooner, weather permitting, but December is what we’re shooting for.”

The new station, which will have two large truck bays, will significantly reduce response time for firefighters on the fast-developing western edge of the city. The emergency response radius of the new fire station will be 1.5 miles in all directions.

“It’s going to help reduce the response time for the areas in the west of Harlingen,” Serna added.

Previously, Harlingen fire department officials have said the new station could cut response times to homes and businesses in the area by up to four or five minutes.

Better fire coverage in the area has been a concern for the city, which is trying to get out in front of a wave of commercial and residential development in the area.

The new Cheddar’s restaurant on Stuart Place Road on I-2/Expressway 83 will anchor a retail development just to the north of the new fire station.

Texas Regional Bank also plans a new headquarters building nearby, and real estate agents and city planners have said they expect a dramatic and rapid expansion of commercial development from Harlingen to La Feria along the interstate.

But development in the area, which was annexed by the city all the way to Bass Boulevard, isn’t exclusively commercial. Several residential subdivisions are in the construction or planning stage in the area.

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