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Road construction project in Willacy County underway

A road construction project in Willacy County is underway.

An iconic greeting at the Willacy and Kennedy County line will soon be removed and relocated.

For years, the palm trees in Raymondville have greeted drivers entering the Rio Grande Valley.

But now, state officials say nearly 200 palm trees will be removed and relocated.

"The reason they are being relocated is because, one they are in the way of the project, and two we want to make sure we save the trees," said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Octavio Saenz.

The project is part of an expansion that will upgrade the roads to interstate standards, which includes additional ramps, wild life crossings and pavement markings.

The additions, Saenz says, are meant to improve the drive for interstate travelers.

"They begin in Business 77 and end almost a mile from Willacy-Kennedy county line," Saenz said.

As for the palm trees, TxDot has begun transplanting the trees further south. This project is all part of a $22.7 million project coming from state and federal funds. The entire project is anticipated to be completed in two years.

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