Vallecillo Road Project is still in the planning phase seven years later
LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It’s been seven years and the project to connect Mines Road to I-35 is still in the planning phase. It’s known as the Vallecillo Road Project.
On Monday, August 1, city council and members associated with the project stressed the importance of getting it off the ground.
Chief operating officer at Killam Development, Dr. Rolando Ortiz, said, “Fire Chief Guillermo Heard can attest there are some days that you can’t even get fire vehicles out there to help get people off Mines Road.”
Support for the project has come from the council in trying to allocate $5 million. District 6 councilmember, Dr. Marte Martinez said, “We have a commitment in partnering in this road, along with the federal government, the private contractor. We’ve had the commitment for the last couple of city managers. Just because we don’t have the money doesn’t mean we don’t have the commitment.”
The Killam family has donated all the rights of way and $5 million for the construction. The Webb County-City of Laredo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) has invested $4 million plus engineering fees that amount to $4 million. In addition, the federal government put in $3 million.
District 7 councilmember Vanessa Perez placed an item on the agenda asking council to authorize the Interim City Manager to send a letter to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) requesting priority and support on the Unified Transportation Program (UTP) for the Vallecillo Road Project. “This road, even if it makes the UTP for 2023, won’t get fully funded or started in the next decade,” Perez said.
The number of accidents reported in the Mines Road area has Perez and others worried. “There was a fire recently on Mines Road. A fire truck couldn’t even get to it,” Perez said.
Dr. Rolando Ortiz said, “The Vallecillo Road program was submitted to the State of Texas to be put into the UTP program (Unified Transportation Program) but for whatever reason, it didn’t make the shortlist, but the RMA is continuing very hard to make sure it’s on the 2023 UTP plan. That means it will be funded in the next 10 years.”
Work continues to get this much-anticipated road project off the ground. Another project to help alleviate traffic in north Laredo is the Hachar Reuthinger project. That will break ground in 2023.
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