McAllen takes up more drainage projects

McALLEN — City commissioners on Monday authorized two contracts for the design on multiple drainage projects, joining more than 20 drainage projects that are currently in the works across the city.

The projects — one awarded to Halff Associates, the other to Cruz-Hogan Associates — come as the city has had to temporarily close some streets with new road closures beginning as soon as Wednesday for other drainage construction as the city continues a steady pace to attack drainage issues following the implementation of a sweeping drainage improvement plan.

Main Street from Daffodil Avenue to Whitewing Avenue will be closed from Wednesday through March 13. Harvey Avenue from 12th Street to 16th Street, including the intersection of Main Street and Harvey Avenue.

The funding for the projects leading to these closures comes from the 2018 bond election, which McAllen voters approved in the amount of $22 million for various drainage projects across the city.

Many projects stemming from the 2018 bond election have entered the design phase, while others are already under construction and in the case of the project at the intersection of Pecan Boulevard and 27th Street, already complete.

“We’re moving fast,” City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “Whatever project is ready to go, we’re moving.”

While more than 20 drainage projects have been awarded to contractors, the bond isn’t the only funding source. Money for the two contracts commissioners issued on Monday came from the drainage utility fee, a scaling fee that commissioners implemented in 2018.

The fee, which city officials have estimated would last eight years, depends on the size of a property — city officials have estimated the average residence in McAllen is 2,700 square feet, which would amount to a $1.50 monthly fee on residents’ utility bill. The average

City officials had determined the fee for each property by dividing the square footage of artificial structures on a property — a shed, porch or pool house — by 2,700, and then multiply that number by 1.50. The city came to those two numbers by quantifying the average property in the city.

The contract with Halff Associates covers a project in the area of Quince Avenue and North 8th Street. The contract with Cruz-Hogan Associates covers a project near the intersection of Camelia Avenue and North 8th Street.

mferman@themonitor.com