The project will consist of the reconstruction and widening of North Efren Ramirez Avenue from an existing 14’ wide street to a 37’ paved street section with concrete curb and gutter (approximately 2,300 ft long). Over 5,600 feet of drainage pipe will be installed to drain water to Arroyo Los Morenos. The project will be similar in scope to the Ebony Avenue Project, which was also funded through USDA. The long awaited project will help alleviate flooding in a number of surrounding neighborhoods and will provide a drainage system for future internal collection systems to tie into. The total cost of the project is $1,915,400. $775,400 will be awarded in the form of a grant, while $1,140,000 will be financed as part of a low interest loan.
November 2019: The bid has been awarded and the contract is pending USDA approval. Construction should begin early 2020.
In the early 2000s the Roma EDC saw a large need for a centralized bus station in Roma. Buses coming into town were forced to park in City right of way, congesting traffic and making it unsafe for passengers loading and unloading. The city purchased the old Gonzalez Mercantile store on the corner of Bravo Ave and Grant St with the intention of converting the space into a bus terminal in close proximity to the Roma Port of Entry. The search for funding the terminal began and in 2005 then Congressman Lloyd Doggett earmarked $400,000 in Federal Transit Administration funds for the project. The city eventually sold the site it had originally purchased for a $225,000 profit and began looking for a more suitable location. In 2009, Congressman Henry Cuellar saw the need for more multimodal transportation options in his district and reinforced FTA’s commitment to the project with an additional $300,000 earmark.
A site was eventually identified and purchased in a much more accessible location along Grant Street. The award winning architectural firm Megamorphosis, Inc. from Harlingen, TX was chosen to design the bus terminal under the leadership of Meg Jorn. The concept was to blend Roma’s historic fabric into the building while creating a building and streetscape that would serve as a model for the entire downtown strip. John Pearcy took over the project upon Meg’s tragic death and has served as principal architect for much of the project.
John and the Megamorposis team together with the consultation of Steve Tillotson, the architect behind the Roma Visitor’s Center and Plaza Project, have created a space that has exceeded our expectations. The building draws on elements found in the National Historic Landmark District including the use of local building materials like handmade, wood-fired brick. The proposed site reverses the deterioration of the downtown by having parking and bus loading in the rear and prioritizing the relationship between people, the building, and the street.
The City continues to suffer from unregulated bus traffic and over the year has lost several bus lines due to a lack of proper infrastructure. Roma’s strategic location and proximity to large urban areas makes it a prime hub for bus transportation coming in from Mexico. The terminal will generate 8-10 direct jobs and will increase the flow of people through Roma. The bus terminal’s site sits prominently at the first intersection of Roma’s downtown and will serve as a gateway to the old town site. Its location and the traffic it will generate will serve as an anchor for business development along Grant Street.
Construction on the main building has been completed. City crews continue to work on parking lot and site. The terminal will be operational early 2020.