MPO garners top award

Traffic crosses over the Pharr interchange in this Jan. 20, 2011, file photo. Nearly 10 years later, a $303 million project to expand the interchange remains on tap. (Joel Martinez |

The Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization has been awarded the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations’ top award.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez submitted the nomination in the MPO Coordination and Partnership category, though the AMPO panel of judges decided that the RGVMPO — formed last year through the merger of the Brownsville, Harlingen-San Benito, and Hidalgo County MPOs — deserved the highest award, Outstanding Overall Achievement.

MPOs are responsible for planning, programming and coordinating federal funding of highways and transit. AMPO was formed in 1994 to serve the needs and interests of MPOs.