• Alliance Backs Cameron County RMA Proposal

January 25, 2011

The Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority (CCRMA) has taken a strong leadership role in efforts to complete upgrades to US 77 in South Texas as part of Interstate 69.

The Alliance for I-69 Texas Board of Directors has approved a resolution supporting the CCRMA's application for pass through financing for US 77 projects from the Texas Transportation Commission. A similar resolution was passed by the Nueces County Commissioner Court.

David Allex, chairman of the CCRMA board, presented the resolution and told Alliance board members that upgrading US 77 to interstate standard is among the organization's highest priorities.

In 2010 the CCRMA entered into a $30 million partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to design a segment of the upgrades near Lyford in Willacy County. They have been looking for ways to make the most of a TxDOT schematic design and environmental assessment process started in 2008 and covering the US77 route between Corpus Christi and Harlingen. Portions of this highway in Nueces, Kleberg, Willacy and Cameron counties are already at interstate standard.

Pass-through financing is a tool the state created to stretch already limited tax highway dollars and to allow local communities to fund upfront costs for constructing a state highway project. The state then reimburses a portion of the project cost to the community over time by paying a fee for each vehicle that drives on the new highway. Projects must be on the state highway system to be eligible to be developed under this program.

TxDOT began accepting applications for a 2011 program of pass-through finance projects in December.