By RICK KELLEY
HARLINGEN — The TxDOT engineer who was instrumental in shepherding Valley transportation agencies into a single combined planning organization has been recognized for his contributions to that effort.
Pedro “Pete” Alvarez, district engineer in the Pharr District since 2017, was recognized with a President’s Award in Planning from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials for exemplary service in furthering transportation activities.
Before returning to TxDOT’s Pharr District, where he began his career in 1993, he was district engineer in the Laredo District.
For years, state and local officials and community leaders had discussed how to maximize highway funding for the Valley and eventually the Hidalgo County, Harlingen-San Benito and Brownsville metropolitan planning associations were merged into the Rio Grande Valley MPO.
The RGV MPO is now the fifth-largest MPO in Texas and serves over 1.4 million people.
In 2017, Alvarez returned to his home district to spearhead the consolidation effort.
Previously, Alvarez has served as director of maintenance in Pharr and became deputy district engineer for the Pharr District in 2013. Alvarez served as the Laredo district engineer from August 2015 through August 2017.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and received his professional engineer’s license in 1999.