Transportation Officials Planning a Bike Line for SPI Causeway

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Photo Courtesy of The Rio Grande Guardian.

Pete Sepulveda, Jr., executive director of the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority, says it is “extremely doable” to build a dedicated bike lane on the South Padre Island Causeway.

Speaking to SPI economic development leaders on Tuesday, Sepulveda said he will make the case for such a project at CCRMA’s July board meeting. He pointed out that there was a lot of support for a bike lane to be built on the planned second causeway to SPI.

“We had a lot of bicyclists attend the (July, 2012, public) hearing and they requested a bike lane on the second access. We looked at that. It was cost-prohibitive. But, at our July board meeting I will present the board of directors with an option,” Sepulveda said.

“We have got a very, very, rough, preliminary study for adding a bike lane on the existing causeway. Based on the cost estimates I have been given I believe it is something that is extremely reasonable, extremely doable, and as soon as I present that to the board and get the authority to move forward I will get with TxDOT and hopefully start tapping into some of the category funding that is available for hike and bike trails statewide.”

Sepulveda said as he was studying the idea of a bike lane for the causeway he got an email from Congressman Vela’s staff wanting to talk about potential funding for hike and bike trails. “They might be able to tap into some funds at the federal level for us as well. So, we will definitely pursue that. I have three different schematics that have been presented by our consultant so we will be presenting those to the board in July.”

Much of Sepulveda’s presentation at the SPI EDC meeting was focused on the construction of a second causeway for SPI. He said CCRMA is “very, very, close to getting environmental clearance” for the much anticipated project. “Everything looks extremely good right now. We have done traffic revenue studies. We have looked at other projects that will be part of the ultimate configuration,” Sepulveda said of the project. He pointed out that in July, 2012, the Texas Department of Transportation held a public hearing about the project at the SPI Convention Center. “It was one of the most successful public hearings TxDOT has had statewide, 800 people attended.” Of those that gave verbal or written comments, “83 percent were in favor,” Sepulveda said.

Sepulveda said there are two other highway projects that will be built simultaneously with the second causeway. When all three are built residents living in the Edinburg, Mission, McAllen and Pharr area will…

Read more at The Rio Grande Guardian.

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