Phases for Springfield expansion project planned out

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The amount of time spent by residents traveling from central to north Laredo and vice versa could be cut down if the expansion of a roadway is given a green light.

The Metropolitan Planning organization says the possible construction of a Springfield road expansion has been a project that has been on shelf for several decades. Now, they are hoping to gather the money and land to make it all possible.

This is the initiation of a project that's been in the making for about 20 years, Doctor Marte Martinez mentioned at a recent Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting.

He and others say there's a need for infrastructure in north Laredo.

"Some of the roads we have are heavily populated, congested for so many hours of the day. We have I-35, the loop, and then McPherson. Other than that there's not really a lot of other options. We've been looking at Springfield for quite some time."

The plan is to extend Springfield’s north end all the way to Loop 20.

"This is pretty much an overview of what the project looks like. We have divided this project into four phases, for now."

In order for that to happen, City of Laredo Engineer Ramon Chavez says several steps must be taken.

"Phase 1, we call from Del Mar to International. Phase 2, we call from International to Shiloh. Phase 3, that section is pretty much ready to go to the south portion of San Isidro, and the last portion that was included, we now call phase 4, is the little section that's pending from the street there all the way to Loop 20."

However, before this project is a "go," it needs backing from a state agency.

"From our stance in Tx-Dot, I think this is a viable solution to get some traffic off of I-
35, of course we have to look over how it's going to be funded,” said David Salazar of Tx-Dot.

Salazar mentions a way to get money for the five lane project, but it's possible there could be some guidelines attached: the road has to be for commercial truck traffic.

The construction cost of the four phase project would be about $15 million.

The final action by the Metropolitan Planning Organization was to look into other possible funds that could pay for the road.

As of right now, there is no set time for that. The main points that came out of this meeting were the need to acquire the land and money for the project.

It's important to mention the $14.7 million amount for the project does not include the acquisition of the land.