Commissioners Court voted its approval of a resolution supporting the merger of the Rio Grande Valley's three Metropolitan Planning Organizations into one and authorizing County Judge Richard F. Cortez to sign the re-designation agreement.

The move brings the merger one step closer to becoming a reality, which would create a united Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

"The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court hereby supports the merger of the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization into the proposed Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization – the Valley MPO," the resolution reads in part.

The merger would make the Valley MPO the fifth-largest MPO in the state, allowing access to greater TxDOT funding opportunities.

"In the past, the four top MPOs have received 83 percent of funds allocated by the Texas Department of Transportation, while the other 21 MPOs have to divide the remaining 17 percent of the funds," said Cortez.

MPOs were created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 to plan and oversee the use of federal transportation dollars.