CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — City Councilman Gil Hernandez brought the almost forgotten Regional Parkway Project to light at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
The Regional Parkway Project was a hot topic a few years ago. It proposed a route that would stretch from State Highway 286 to Park Road 22 on the island. No definitive discussions have taken place on the project since a feasibility study was done in 2017.
“There’s a lot of environmental aspects and studies that need to be completed before you do any engineering to do anything," said Hernandez. "So, all that has to be done and a lot of pre-work needs to be done and that’s what I’m talking about. So, we need to work in conjunction with the county, with King Ranch because it’s their property. So, there’s a lot that needs to be done.”
The project is split into two segments. Segment A entails the project from Rodd Field Rd. to Park Road 22. Segment B would build a four lane route from Rodd Field Rd. to SH 286. Rodd Field Rd. would be extended several miles south.
According to the director of planning, there are many hurdles to connect Park Road 22 to Rodd Field Rd. Even with possible funding from the new infrastructure bill, the idea isn’t at the top of many people's minds.
“That area has restraints because it doesn’t necessarily have utility access," Daniel McGinn said, Corpus Christi director of planning. "That can certainly can change pretty quickly, but right now that’s awfully difficult to develop some of the land that route's proposed in, now. So, development I think is still a good bit away."
However, the Corpus Christi Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) has federal money earmarked for Segment B to be completed in a 10-year plan. Segment A is listed as being unfunded.
“This routing of Segment B would give folks on the south side an opportunity to go, really kind of go south and then west and then back up north, without dealing with some of the congestion that you may see on Everhart, Staples and then finally on SPID,” said McGinn.
Yet, the city has no urgency to move that project forward, or Segment A, with so many other big ticket items in the works. CCMPO planning director said he doesn't anticipate the environmental study for Segment B to begin for at least another three years. It would then take a few years to complete.
“Del Mar Campus and all the growth that’s happening out there," said Hernandez. "We’ve actually had more zoning changes that are going to be more homes out in that area off of Yorktown on the Eastern side of Rodd Field. So, there’s still a lot going on there and I’d like to get in front of it and not behind it.”
For a project to be moved up within CCMPO, a plan has to be brought to them for consideration. There is no timetable of when federal money from the infrastructure bill will come down or how much.