Texas Border Business
Pharr, Texas – Regional partnerships and collaboration among government entities and neighboring communities was the underlying theme echoed by Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez at a groundbreaking ceremony held this week for the installation of the safety tunnels as part of the Hidalgo County Regional Linear Parks Project – a hike and bike trail that spans nearly eight miles across three cities (San Juan, Pharr, and McAllen) and aims to improve safety for runners, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The groundbreaking ceremony coincided with the month of November 2018, which was recognized throughout the country as National Runner Safety Month. The City of Pharr and Hidalgo County adopted proclamations to raise awareness regarding the importance of safety and security measures especially as they aim to keep safety a priority for all those that will use this hike and bike trail – runners, cyclists, pedestrians, and more. In observance of this safety month, the partners broke ground to commence the construction of the unique safety features that this hike and bike trail will have, including underground safety tunnels, security cameras, and more.
“We are proud to partner with Hidalgo County and Precinct 2 on this regional project that will have a positive impact on the health and wellness of our communities and our residents,” said Hernandez. “Pharr was proud to donate 2.64 miles of city property for portions of the trail that run through city property including tunnel crossings at Ridge Rd., Moore Rd., and Cage Blvd. as we work together to enhance pedestrian safety,” Hernandez continued.
The $9 million project was ranked as the No. 1 regional project by the Texas Highway Administration and will be the first regional pedestrian-friendly hike and bike trail in Hidalgo County, allowing outdoor enthusiasts, runners, bicyclists, and pedestrians a trail system in which they will not have to stop and wait for lights near busy roadways or crosswalks. Instead, all avid trail users will be able to utilize a series of tunnels which are being built under busy roadways, allowing them the ability to avoid high-traffic areas and continue their walk, run, or bicycle ride without interruptions and in a safe environment.
The unique partnership between Hidalgo County, Precinct 2, and the cities of Pharr, San Juan and McAllen underscores the regional collaboration and comprehensive partnerships designed to address community needs and highlights the emphasis that the partners have for creating safe spaces for our community to enjoy. When complete, the regional linear park will offer a safe, alternative mode of transportation between the three communities.
“The City of Pharr is excited to work in partnership with the county and our neighboring cities to provide our citizens with outdoor amenities such as this first-of-its-kind trail for our communities to enjoy safely,” Hernandez added.