PHARR – Hidalgo County Pct. 2 commissioner Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu remembers playing in the ditches with his brother, so much so that he even broke his jaw on one occasion.
The area was unsafe, but now the hike and bike trail which eventually lead into McAllen's hike and bike trail will provide a safe method for residents to be active.
“To see it now, it is a dream come true,” Cantu said at a ground breaking ceremony to complete the final segment of Phase 1 of the hike and bike trail. “Everyone got behind the project and were awarded $4.5 million (in grants), that money could have been awarded to many different projects but because of the support and because the project was regional, we received all the money.”
The final segment for Phase 1 is build a tunnel under Veterans Boulevard so those using the hike and bike trail will never have to cross an intersection. Another tunnel will be constructed in Phase 2 under Ridge Road.
The state of the art tunnels will include lighting and surveillance cameras. In addition, emergency call stations will be in close proximity to the tunnels.
The Phase 1 trail begins on San Antonio Avenue in San Juan and will be 2.4 miles once completed. The tunnels are scheduled to be completed in 180 days.
Phase 1 of the hike and bike trail has seen some hiccups like the path being too close to a firing range where residents of Pharr and surrounding communities can go a shoot assault rifles like an AR-15.
But the with the swift leadership of all parties involved the firing range will be moved and the path of the hike and bike trail will remain the same.
“We got together and put our egos aside and did what was safe for you (the resident),” Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez said.
The firing range will close and move elsewhere, in partnership with the county.