Phase 1 of $200M SH 365 Reconstruction Project Begins

Work has begun on the $200 million Texas state Highway 365 reconstruction project near Pharr, Texas, in the far southern part of the state.

📅   Fri April 29, 2016 - West Edition
Chuck Harvey - CEG CORRESPONDENT


Work has begun on the $200 million Texas state Highway 365 reconstruction project near Pharr, Texas, in the far southern part of the state.
Work has begun on the $200 million Texas state Highway 365 reconstruction project near Pharr, Texas, in the far southern part of the state.
Work has begun on the $200 million Texas state Highway 365 reconstruction project near Pharr, Texas, in the far southern part of the state. Led by the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation, the first phase of the project has kicked off with a project to improve a 1.15-mi. (1.8 km) segment of U.S. 281 (Military Highway) and build a grade-separated interchange at the intersection of U.S. 281 and future SH 365.
The purpose of Phase 1 work is to enhance safety by separating overweight truck traffic from passenger-only vehicles.
Improved roadway and bridges will encourage international trade.

Work has begun on the $200 million Texas state Highway 365 reconstruction project near Pharr, Texas, in the far southern part of the state.

The new highway is expected to improve traffic flow in the area and encourage greater international trade shipments coming across the nearby border with Mexico.

Led by the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation, the first phase of the project has kicked off with a project to improve a 1.15-mi. (1.8 km) segment of U.S. 281 (Military Highway) and build a grade-separated interchange at the intersection of U.S. 281 and future SH 365. An overpass will be constructed at the site.

Phase 1, also labeled “segment 3” on project maps, includes a connector to a proposed border safety inspection facility.

The U.S. 281 segment will be widened from two to four lanes. That part of the project began in February.

Phase 2 is the SH 365 portion of the project and includes segments 1 and 2. It stretches 16.53 mi. (26.6 km) from U.S. 281 near Spur 600 west to FM 1016 (Conway Avenue). It is a new toll highway and will initially be developed as a four-lane divided controlled access toll road divided by a grassy median with rights of way reserved for future widening to six lanes.

Construction start for segments 1 and 2 is set for October of this year. The SH 365 reconstruction project is expected to be completed in June 2019.

Plans call for SH 365 to eventually become a six-lane highway with lanes divided by a flushed median with a concrete barrier. Currently preparations are being made for blading and grading.

Much of the initial work has been done including utility relocation. Also right of way property is still being acquired for Phase II of the SH 365 project.

Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority, project manager, selected Foremost Paving Inc. of Elsa, Texas, as contractor for Phase 1 work. The accepted bid was $19.4 million.

A contractor for Phase 2 has not yet been selected. A contract is expected to be awarded in August of this year.

Heavy equipment to be used includes cranes, pavers, bulldozers, scrapers, haulers, concrete rollers and backhoes.

Subcontractors for the first phase include, GO Underground LLC of Harlingen, Texas; D&S Texas Icon Construction LLC of Austin; Austin Traffic Signal Construction Co. Inc. of Pflugerville, Texas; and Highway Barricades & Services LLC of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Between 15 and 25 workers are on the job each day during Phase 1.

Phase 1 to Enhance Safety

The purpose of Phase 1 work is to enhance safety by separating overweight truck traffic from passenger-only vehicles. Improvements include new pavement, signage, cross culverts and lighting.

The new bridge at U.S. 281 and San Juan Road — the future starting point of SH 365 — will provide a safer connection for southbound trucks moving onto U.S. 281. “And when the toll road (SH 365) is built it will filter some traffic northbound instead of along U.S. 281 and local roads in the nearby communities,” said Ramon Navarro, construction engineer of Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority.

Besides building SH 365, Phase 2 of the project includes construction of a dozen SH 365 bridges: FM 484 and Shary Road; Main Floodway Channel Bridge water crossing; SP 115 and 23rd Street; SH 336 and 10th Street; Pharr/San Juan Irrigation Canal; McColl Road (underpass); FM 2061 and Jackson Road; U.S. 281 and South Cage Boulevard; I Road, FM 3072 and Easter Dicker Road; drainage channel south of Las Milpas Road water crossing; Anaya Road; and Hi Line Road.

Project Requirements

The project will require large amounts of concrete and asphalt.

In Phase 1, workers will pour 8,210 cu. yds. (6,277 cu m) of continuously-reinforced concrete pavement. They will apply 31,580 cu. yds. (24,145 cu m) of asphalt.

In Phase 2, they will pour 275,320 cu. yds. (210,497 cu m) of continuously-reinforced concrete pavement and apply 22,150 cu. yds. (16,935 cu m) of asphalt.

Community Impact

Impacts on the surrounding community are expected to be minor.

“We shall be maintaining existing conditions, one lane in each direction at all times,” Navarro said.

Encouraging International Trade

Improved roadway and bridges will encourage international trade.

“On a national basis, most of our gross international trade crosses out of Mexico into the U.S. via our border bridges,” Navarro said.

He cited large shipments of avocados coming across the border for Super Bowl Sunday as an example.

Navarro said future facilities to be built as part of the project will expedite deliveries, provide fresher product and reduce supply costs.

“Locally, increased trade means more local service jobs at shipping and manufacturing plants,” Navarro added.

That will hopefully lead to construction of big-box retail stores, especially along the new route, he said.

(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide's Web site at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG