News From Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen Leaders Hopeful Senator Cornyn’s $15 Million Request for USIBWC Continues Dredging Efforts of Arroyo Colorado


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn is proposing to increase the U.S. International Boundary & Water Commission’s budget by $15 million.  This after a visit to the Rio Grande Valley this month where he learned the USIBWC is strapped due to lack of funds.



If approved that money could be used to dredge the Arroyo Colorado to help reduce the impact of flooding in the City of Harlingen and the Rio Grande Valley, an effort the City of Harlingen welcomes.



Earlier this month, the USIBWC received a permit that allowed the removal of 25 cubic yards of sediment at three bridge locations along the Arroyo Colorado in Harlingen.  The Three locations are downstream of the bridge crossings at Business 77, Ed Carey Drive, and FM 509.



The IBWC mowed the floodplain area to minimize areas being disturbed to no more than five feet along the riverbank.



City Manager Dan Serna says if approved this money can be used to continue that work. “The City has been working with the USIBWC for years to remove the sediment and vegetation growth and we’re very grateful the agency started to dredge this month.  But this is only the beginning.  Much work still needs to be done to restore the floodwater conveyance capacity of the Arroyo Colorado.  We’re hoping this money will allow the dredging of most, if not all of the arroyo, at a much faster pace.”



Mayor Chris Boswell, City Manager Serna, and Assistant City Manager Carlos Sanchez had the opportunity to personally thank Senator Cornyn for prioritizing the needs of the City of Harlingen and the Valley while visiting with him in his Washington D.C. office last week.



Meantime, the $15 million request is in the appropriations process and an announcement will be made once approved.  City leaders will be meeting with USIBWC Commissioner Jayne Harkins next month at which time we hope to learn more about the dredging efforts.




(Photo Courtesy the office of Senator John Cornyn)

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