House Bill could fund Bulkhead project along the riverbank

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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - After talks of a U.S.-Mexico border barrier in Washington, Austin is trying to stay one step ahead of the game.

House Bill 4306 seeks to create a new border security enhancement fund that would be controlled by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Co-interim City Manager Robert Eads says the bill would allow a border infrastructure fund that would allow for certain projects to be funded.

The City of Laredo has the perfect idea for the use of those funds, the Bulkhead Plan.

The plan is a 12 year project that could not have worked in the past due to funding; however, city officials want to make sure this project does not get put aside.

Eads says this would further help the city’s plan to revitalize downtown, while also satisfying the request for a barrier.

Eads goes on to say, “We continue to invest millions of dollars and the last thing we want to see is some ugly wall, some ugly fence, or something of that sort that would just wreck what we've been trying to build in our downtown."

The plan for the bulkhead would stretch for about nine miles from the Laredo College main campus to Slaughter Park.

Eads says they do not want to deal with any issues involving property rights.

The interim city manager believes Governor Abbott has plenty of interest in the project and wants to see it move forward.

If the bill passes, along with the Bulkhead Project, the extension of Mines Road to Eagle Pass would also be funded at a cost of approximately $60 million dollars.

If approved, both projects would be fully funded by the state which means no funds from the city.

Currently, the bill has already passed the house and is currently under review in the Senate.