With construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse set to begin in September, the county unveiled plans to accommodate jurors, visitors and staff parking.
Closner Blvd. will be closed to through traffic from E. Cano St. to E. McIntyre St. on September 4 as construction begins on the new Courthouse. The new 7-story, state-of-the-art, safe and secure Courthouse will be constructed in the area just south of the current building, across Closner, and on the majority of the main parking lot. During construction, 300 parking spaces currently used for visitor and juror parking will be lost, with about 115 spots available on the northeast corner of the lot through the end of the year.
To offset the closure of the courthouse parking lot, the county has re-assigned several additional lots surrounding the courthouse square and will be implementing a free shuttle service that will pick up and drop off jurors, the public, and employees.
Jonathan Almanza, with the County Judges Office, presented the county's plan, which was based on a comprehensive utilization study of the exiting county lots that helped identify the lots that were most frequently in use.
"There will be a permanent closure of Closner Boulevard, the portion in front of the courthouse, and a portion of the main courthouse lot will be permanently closed," said Almanza. "We want to make it easily accessible for jurors, employees and visitors so we also developed a shuttle system."
The free shuttle will run through designated streets along the perimeter of the courthouse square and will stop at high volume locations along the route.
"We're working with Valley Metro to provide two air-conditioned, fully ADA compliant trolleys," said Almanza. "There's a federal grant that will take care of 80 percent of the purchase and 50 percent of maintenance that will run through the duration of the construction of the new courthouse."
The county's Public Affairs office will help publicize the changes and any updates via the county’s website, social media, parking lot and street signage, news releases, QR code, radio and television interviews, and videos. In addition, the District Clerk will include the parking and shuttle map and information in juror notices beginning in August.