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Rebuilding Sam Houston Drive will be long, expensive project

Aug. 29, 2010 at 3:29 a.m.

O.C. Garza

I know that Sam Houston Drive is scheduled to be rebuilt. When does that work begin?

The current schedule calls for Sam Houston to be "under construction" in November. This will be the longest, most expensive project on one street in the city's history; essentially a complete rebuild of Sam Houston Drive from Laurent Street to the Houston Highway. The engineering phase alone of this massive project took almost three years to complete. More than 50 parcels of land were acquired before this contract could be bid. All underground utilities and traffic lights will be replaced and the street will be paved in concrete.

The original cost estimate was $22.5 million, but when the bids were opened a few weeks ago, the lowest bid was just under $18 million by SER Construction Partners of Pasadena. SER is the contractor working on the Main Street and De Leon Plaza project.

Another big plus was the winning bidder estimated 660 work days for the project, instead of the engineer's original estimate of three years.

I am still confused by the mowing ordinance. Is there information online about it?

Yes. Most residents already mow their entire property, which is what is required in the ordinance and we thank them. Here is a brief summary of the mowing ordinance. Since 1969, property owners have been responsible for mowing their entire lot, including any right-of-ways or easements, and any grass between a back fence and the street, or a side fence and the street - before it is higher than 12 inches. This city ordinance has been in place for more than 40 years. For an online brochure on the mowing ordinance, browse to the city web site at www.victoriatx.org.

When is the next city E-Waste Day?

The city has partnered with Bass Computers to hold E-Waste days on Sept. 17 and 18 at the community center. This is the perfect time for residents, businesses and government organizations to get rid of old or non-working electronic waste that we do not want in the landfill.

Items accepted during E-Waste Day include computers, laptops, televisions (TV's, no consoles please), cell phones, monitors, servers, cameras, projectors, hard drives, cables, VCR/DVD players, desktop printers, keyboards, mouse, batteries and communication equipment.

We cannot accept appliances, lawn equipment, medical equipment, microwaves, copiers or household hazardous waste. Remember this is not a household hazardous waste event, this is for electronics only.

E-Waste Day is free of charge and will be held at the community center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Please note that businesses and governments must apply online before Sept. 14 to ensure we have enough capacity for all the e-waste. For more information or to register your business online, browse to the city website at www.victoriatx.org.

If a hurricane approaches will the city and all utility companies turn off utilities to force residents to evacuate?

No. Utility systems are not designed to be turned off and they will remain in operation unless damaged by a storm. Residents who choose to evacuate should turn off utilities (electricity and gas primarily) at the house if instructed to do so by emergency personnel. But the service will remain on unless the utility is damaged by the storm.

Send your questions and comments for any city department or activity to City of Victoria, Public Information Office, P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902, or pio@victoriatx.org.

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