Military Highway upgrade: Construction crews hit area west of FM 509

LOS INDIOS — The hopscotch improvement of U.S. 281 or the Old Military Highway has moved to a two-mile stretch near this town along the border.

Already sections of U.S. 281 to the west have been repaved and the roadway widened.

This section of highway — at a cost of $3.9 million — is a roadway rehabilitation and widening project on a 1.65-mile stretch from FM 509 west to just past FM 1479.

“Once you have everything striped and everything ready, you can go ahead and switch traffic lanes to that side of the road,” David Vera, a TxDOT engineer, told the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization this week. “What that enables us to do is to locate the construction on the other half of the road.”

Now that traffic has been re-routed on the detour along the south side of U.S. 281, Vera said crews could actually begin breaking up the old roadway and removing it.

“At this point, you’ll see the blacktop, and once we remove the blacktop and we remove the caliche or base material underneath it, what a lot of people don’t see … is that underneath all that you have an old concrete pavement and that has to be removed as well as part of the construction plans,” Vera added.

The project, being performed by contractors Foremost Paving Inc., began in February and is about 30 percent complete, according to TxDOT.

TxDOT Projects Update

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: 71 percent

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 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 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

Work finished: 30 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: 86 percent

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

State Highway 107

Location: Combes

Cost: $3.7 million

Project length: 0.465 miles

Contractor: Foremost Paving Inc.

Work started: August 2017

Completion date: October 2018

Work finished: 16 percent