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On Thursday, May 17, Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios hosted a ribbon cutting for Mile 22 ½ Road that celebrated the full reconstruction of the roadway that will positively impact 120 households.
“Our community thrives when partnerships are formed and the great will to work together for safety and the benefit of our community happens,” said Commissioner Joseph Palacios. “This has been our mission from day one in our administration and this one example of the many joint projects Precinct 4 has embarked and realized. I want to give commendation to our partners who have entrusted us to embrace the need and find better solutions for today and the future of our community.”
The new road will connect families on Mile 22 ½ to Carmen Avila road, which houses Betty Harwell Middle School and Carmen Avila Elementary School. Previously these schools only had one street leading to their campuses making it tough for parents, school buses and law enforcement to access the area.
This access became crucial when in 2011 a stray bullet injured two Harwell middle school students and the small road made it difficult for Sheriff’s Deputies to respond. After the shooting incident, Edinburg CISD partnered with Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios to create a safety wall with the school board’s facilities committee. At the time, Palacios offered to donate dirt from a regional detention pond project near San Carlos. Palacios said if both entities approved the agreements, he would begin mobilizing his workers and equipment the next day in which he did. The entire safety berm project was finished within 45 to 60 days on the north and west sides of campus. The next step for keeping the students and community safe was the construction of Mile 22 ½ which will now decrease law enforcement emergency response time.
Today’s ceremony began with the presentation of colors by retired U.S. Army Soldiers and proceeded with the National Anthem by the Betty Harwell Middle School choir along with Pledge of Allegiance by Carmen Avila Elementary School students. Special guest speakers included Edinburg CISD School Board President Xavier Salinas and Vice President Carmen Gonzalez, along with Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy Juan Pedraza.
Residents will now have improved transportation and emergency access along Mile 22 ½ Road in North Edinburg.