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City council to vote on agreement for overpasses

By DAVID TEWES
Jan. 2, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 1, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.


If you goWhat: City council meeting to consider an agreement for overpasses on Zac Lentz Parkway.

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Council Chamber at 107 W. Juan Linn St.

Victoria residents may find out Tuesday if the city will get potentially life-saving overpasses on Zac Lentz Parkway.

The city council will consider an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation that outlines such details of funding responsibilities for the project.

Mayor Will Armstrong said he won't be at Tuesday's meeting, but he endorses the agreement.

"There are some provisions that we don't particularly like, but we're going to live with," he said. "I, for one, hope it passes."

Armstrong said it's a chance to get state money for the project if the city and county are willing to help with the funding.

The state has plans to build overpasses on Zac Lentz Parkway at Mockingbird Lane near the East High School and at Salem Road, the site of several fatal crashes.

Funding for the project, estimated at $22.6 million, would come from the state, city and county. State engineers have said that is a two-year-old estimate and the bids will probably be closer to $18 million to $20 million.

But the city announced last year it was withdrawing from the project because it was not pleased with contract wording about the funding. State and city representatives later met to try to work through the city's concerns.

Armstrong said it has been a while since he looked at the updated agreement and couldn't remember the issues he had with it. City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz said it's too early for him to comment on them.

"We are continuing negotiations with the Texas Department of Transportation," he said. "Some of those issues that the mayor was not satisfied with are most likely going to be resolved by the time we take it to the council on Tuesday."

District Engineer Lonnie Gregorcyk with the state transportation department said the agreement is complicated and could easily be misunderstood. But he said he doesn't think questions the city has about the funding will get in the way of the project.

"The city could say it just can't afford this," he said. "You wouldn't want to put them in a position where it's outside their ability to pay for the thing."

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