Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Helps Secure $6.4 Million to Fix Gap in Rio Grande Flood Control Levee

Project consists of approximately 800 linear feet of levee improvements

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148), January 11, 2022

Mission, TX- Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced a $6,400,000 contract to repair a gap in the Rio Grande flood control levee near Peñitas, Texas. The project funding includes the design and construction of approximately 800 linear feet of levee improvements, including levee construction, floodwall construction, replacement of an existing gatewell structure, and the construction of levee ramps.

The contract was awarded to Conti Federal Service by the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the United States and Mexico.

“In order to guarantee the safety of the residents of Peñitas, it is vital that we repair the gap in the flood control levee. If left unattended, we could face severe consequences and put the lives of people in the community at risk, ” said Congressman Cuellar. “These repairs will ensure that the levee fulfills its purpose. I want to thank the United States International Boundary and Water Commission for awarding this contract in a timely manner to protect the residents of South Texas.”

“By closing the levee gap, this project will provide flood protection for the cities of Peñitas and Mission, Texas,” said Juan Uribe, USIBWC Area Operations Manager for the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project. “Our partners at Hidalgo County Irrigation District No.1 have been instrumental in moving this multi-phase project forward for the betterment of the community.”

The project is located completely within the USIBWC Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project and directly adjacent to the international border with Mexico. The pump station is located at Peñitas, Texas and the levee segments are located adjacent to the pump station.

This project will execute the second phase of a Memorandum of Agreement between USIBWC and Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 1 (HCID1). The initial phase, completed in partnership with HCID1, focused on the rehabilitation of the HCID1 Edinburg Pump House, as well as constructing a portion of floodwall adjacent to the pump house. Phase two will tie into the floodwalls built under Phase one and will effectively complete the levee work in the area, closing a gap near the pump house that has existed since the flood control system was constructed.

The USIBWC anticipates the design phase to kick off in the January 2022, followed immediately with the construction phase anticipated in the first quarter of 2023 calendar year. Once construction is complete, the USIBWC will prepare and submit the levee certification package to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).