A Pretty Sight: Freeway underpass blooms with new life

HARLINGEN — The rehabilitation of the freeway interchange on the west end of Tyler and Harrison avenues is turning what once was a spaghetti junction into a nature preserve.

The $293,349 project at the Interstate 2 and I-69E interchange is designed to provide a better first impression to people coming into Harlingen, and is adding native plants and trees, sidewalks, walkways and lighting.

“They have currently installed some trees and other plants,” TxDOT’s Roberto Jimenez, in a bit of understatement, said last week at the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.

In fact, Southern Landscapes has installed an irrigation system, outlines for walkways and has planted hundreds of plants and trees in the area beneath the swooping freeways which rumble overhead.

Southern Landscapes’ Mary Rodriguez passed along the flora her company has planted on the site.

Trees in include orchid, royal Poinciana, wild olive, desert willow, crape myrtle, Texas mountain laurel, yaupon holly, esperanza, Mexican Poinciana (red) and Texas Poinciana (yellow).

Shrubs include bird of paradise, Turks cap, firecracker, mist flower, Barbados cherry, dwarf oleander, Texas red yucca, dwarf cenizo, duranta and dwarf liriope.

Southern Landscapes, the McAllen company which won the TxDOT bid on the project, is known for its landscaping work at the McAllen Convention Center, Palms Crossing shopping center and the Antigua Subdivision.

TxDOT Projects Update

I-69E and I-2 interchange landscape improvements

Location: I-69E and I-2 Harlingen

Cost: $293,349

Project length: 0.1 miles

Contractor: Southern Landscapes

Work started: April 3

Completion date: August

Work finished: 38.25 percent

 

Bridge rehabilitation Rio Hondo lift bridge

Location: Rio Hondo

Cost: $12.4 million

Project length: 0.117 miles

Contractor: PCL Civil Contractors Inc.

Work started: Summer 2016

Completion date: February 2018

Work finished: 59.23 percent

The project consists of a complete overhaul of the mechanical lift bridge over the Arroyo Colorado.

 

U.S. 281 Rehabilitation and Widening

Location: From .05 miles west of FM 1479 to 0.24 miles east of FM 506

Cost: $7.7 million

Project Length: 3.86 miles

Contractor: ASAGO LLC

Work started: June 2015

Work finished: 100 percent complete

The project on the highway along the Rio Grande consists of rehabbing the roadway and widening the existing road.

 

FM 106 roadway reconstruction

Location: From FM 1847 to FM 510

Cost: $15.6 million

Project Length: 11.4 miles

Contractor: Texas SAI Inc.

Work started: November 2015

Completion date: December 2017

Work finished: 53.38 percent complete

The project consists of a major overhaul of the roadway and includes several wildlife underpasses and adjacent fencing.

 

BSIF at Los Indios

Location: Los Indios Free Trade International Bridge

Cost: $6.9 million

Project Length: .001 miles

Contractor: Foremost Paving Inc.

Work started: February 2015

Completion date: March 2018

Work finished: 78.57 percent

The new border safety inspection facility will inspect trucks from Mexico entering the United States. Work on the facility has been suspended since September while TxDOT awaits a land donation from Cameron County.

 

U.S. 281 roadway rehabilitation and widening

Location: From .09 miles east of Hidalgo/Cameron county line to 0.24 miles east of FM 506

Cost: $5.2 million

Project Length: 2.789 miles

Contractor: Foremost Paving Inc.

Work started: February 2015

Work finished: 100 percent

This is the western end of the rehab and widening of border highway U.S. 281.

 

1 and 2 county road off-system bridge replacements

Location: Kornegay Road just south of FM 1561 and Mile Line 20 Road 0.5 miles east of Nelson Road

Cost: $1.4 million

Project length: Varies

Contractor: Valley Infrastructure

Work started: February 2016

Completion date: June 2017

Work finished: 95.38 percent and 98.37 percent

The two projects will replace aging bridges and their approaches.

 

I-69 Rehab of Illumination

Location: Varies

Cost: $3.2 million

Project length: Varies

Contractor: Traf-Tex Inc.

Work started: January 2017

Completion date: February 2018

Work finished: 63 percent

The project consists of rehabilitation of lighting along I-2 and I-69.

 

U.S. 281 Roadway Rehabilitation and Widening

 

Location: From FM 509 to .05 miles west of FM 1479

Cost: $3.9 million

Project length: 1.65 miles

Contractor: Foremost Paving Inc.

Work started: February 2017

Completion date: July 2018

Work finished: 14.23 percent