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MISSION — The Mission Redevelopment Authority Board discussed the status of the $1 million Conway Avenue Streetscape Project Tuesday, explaining that the input of local merchants will be sought, said Executive Director Ricardo A. Perez.

The project spans from 1st to 14th street.

Perez said the City of Mission approved the contract for planning with Spawglass Contractors Inc. for the project on Monday.

“Phase 1 of the project is at $113,000…once we execute the agreement we will reimburse the city,” Perez said. “Right now we pretty much have a blank sheet of paper as far as what we want to accomplish.”

Perez said he has met with multiple departments including the city manager’s office, public works, the planning department, the Mission Historical Museum and the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce before undertaking the project.

“(We’re) trying to get all the players involved…so we can start the design and it will be attractive to everybody within the project limits,” Perez said. “The museum is adding to our project, to enhance the project, a digital sign at the corner of 9th Street and Conway. That is another $40,000 to $50,000 project that the chamber is undertaking.”

The executive director added they aren’t yet committed to a specific design, explaining they just want see how much can be done within the $1 million limit.

Mission Chamber President/CEO Matt Z. Ruszczak is organizing public meetings for merchants to collect input on the design and to address any issues with disrupting the flow of traffic to the businesses.

Juan Delgado with Spawglass Contractors Inc. said in the planning contract, they would include different conceptual designs for approval. He added estimates and scheduling would also be provided.

“Once we have an approved design we will move forward with the second phase, which would be construction of what we have,” Delgado said. “I don’t want to speak ahead, but the plan is to start construction by mid-summer or early summer; the sooner the better.”

Perez said once the agreement is approved, they can move forward with the project. The agreement will be on the agenda at the May MRA meeting.

In other agenda items, a representative from the L&G Engineering firm explained the design portion of the U.S. 83 overpass at Inspiration Road has been completed. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is scheduled to receive bids from contractors for construction in July, but may be postponed due to the federal process for the acquisition of land.

The City of Mission has already executed a Right of Way Agreement with TxDOT, which calls for the city to use its money to purchase land, and later TxDOT will reimburse the city at 99.5 percent, according to the representative from the L&G Engineering Firm. The cost of the project is a total of $32 million.

Juan Sustaita with TxDOT discussed the status of the Anzalduas Phase II project (US 83 Expressway and FM 396 Overpass). Sustaita said the contractor is working at a faster pace than scheduled.

“IThey should be finished before their set November-December date,” he said. “They actually already started hydromulching between the main lanes south of US 83.”

Perez said one of the board’s major concerns is with the landscaping, which the MRA paid $500,000.

“If you could let us know when it is going in place we want to keep an eye on it,” he said.

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