FM 802 expansion almost complete

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Construction continues along Ruben M. Torres Boulevard in Brownsville Monday. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

There is good news for motorists traveling on Ruben M. Torres Sr. Boulevard from Paredes Line to Old Port Isabel Road.

Road construction continues along Ruben M. Torres Boulevard in Brownsville Monday. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

State officials believe work on the expansion project will be completed in June, weather permitting.

Over the past year, Texas Department of Transportation crews have widened the causeway, also known as FM 802, which is one of the busiest boulevards in Brownsville.

The contractors have made minimal improvements to the drainage system, which consist of cleaning existing culverts and replacing/modifying existing inlets, said Ray Pedraza, public information manager for TxDOT.

The medians added to the boulevard to promote traffic flow are complete. They are of the same style placed on Ruben Torres of US Expressway 77/83 at Paredes Line Road.

Bright orange barrels remained placed all along the boulevard on Monday afternoon, with a few barricades also in place. Contractors did minimal work on Monday due to inclement weather, Pedraza said. A cold front passed through Brownsville on Monday, bringing light rain and cooler temperatures.

The project, which is approximately 1.36 miles long, begins at FM 802 and FM 1847 (Paredes Line Road) and ends at Old Port Isabel Road. It includes the construction of a raised concrete median and the widening of the four exit lanes to six 12-foot-wide traffic lanes and two 10-foot-wide bicycle lanes. The 6-foot-wide sidewalks will remain in place on both sides of the roadway. Additionally, the project includes proposed right and left turn lanes at intersections throughout the project.

The project started in early 2021.

Road construction continues along Ruben M. Torres Boulevard in Brownsville Monday. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Earlier this year, contractors worked on sidewalks and ramps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

TxDOT officials said FM 802 is ranked 92nd on the 100 busiest roads in Texas. By expanding FM 802 and adding medians, authorities said it could help reduce traffic congestion.

Officials said earlier that the expansion project would match the other part of FM 802 which was widened to six lanes several years ago. The need for the project also stems from the fact that FM 802 has seen a significant increase in traffic over the past few years.

TxDOT held a public meeting about the project in September 2019 where the public was briefed on what the project would entail and why it was needed.

Although the estimated cost of the project was $7.5 million when it was officially announced, the cost has increased by $178,583.87.

Road construction continues along Ruben M. Torres Boulevard in Brownsville Monday. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)
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