The City of Edinburg has essentially given the green light to contractors on a project they say has been in the works for nearly a decade.

At their most recent meeting on May 5, city council members awarded $2.2 million to contractors, IOC Company LLC, for widening Sugar Road to a five lane thoroughfare. The road is intended to stretch from Trenton Road near Edinburg Regional Hospital to Owassa. The City of Pharr will then expand Sugar from Owassa to 495, according to city leaders.

The project will include the addition of sidewalks, drainage, striping and traffic signals in the roughly 1.5 mile project. City officials say the entire project could take a year.

Contractors said at the City Council meeting that they intend to mobilize construction crews on Sugar Road in the coming weeks. The Sugar Road expansion has been in the works for at least six to eight years, according to city officials.

“It’s going to be a great road,” said Edinburg city manager JJ Rodriguez. “It’s just a matter now of administratively managing the project between myself and the contractors. I think once the ball gets rolling, it’s not going to stop until the project is done.”

There are at least four major road improvement projects currently taking place in Edinburg. Projects include north Jackson from Highway 107 to more than a quarter mile north of Chapin Road. Canton Road is currently being expanded from Mccoll Road to U.S. Business 28. The City recently completed Pin Oak that runs through the parking lot at Wal-Mart on University Drive to Sprague.

“It’s something that has taken a long, long time,” said city manager JJ Rodriguez. “Now you see it happening just like Canton and north Jackson, which has also been a long time needed because of the university traffic. I’m glad to have seen in the last few years we have really had whatever we needed to get these projects on their way.”

Plans for the expansion of Freddy Gonzalez from McColl Road to 10th Street have already been designed, according to Rodriguez. The City is now looking to see if the project is eligible for a federal stimulus funding. Needed right of way and additional environmental studies are still needed in order for the project to be designated “shovel ready” for federal dollars, according to Rodriguez.

“We still have a little homework on that one,” Rodriguez said about the Freddy Gonzalez expansion. “But we’ll hit back and forth, based on what we have on our plate right now. We are hoping that if everything falls in place, the next one to go once we have the necessary funding would be Freddy Gonzalez.”