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Advocate editorial board opinion: Highway projects mean a safer roadway

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 6, 2011 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:06 p.m.


FUNDING AND COSTS

The estimated construction cost for both overpasses was $22.6 million, although the state believes bids could come in as low as $18 million to $20 million.

The commissioners court agreed to pay $3.3 million of the local match over 11 years beginning in 2014.

The city council agreed to pick up the balance of the local match of $8 million.

Victoria also plans to issue debt to pay for most of the rest of the cost, with the state reimbursing the city for the principal over time based on traffic volume.

Interest on the debt was estimated at $8.16 million.

We praise those involved for sealing a deal to build two overpasses on Zac Lentz Parkway. The completion of the overpasses spells a safer environment along that road, especially for students at East High School, who drive and walk to school.

The construction of those overpasses at Mockingbird Lane near the high school and Salem Road, which has been deemed a deadly intersection, overcame funding hurdles during 2009 and 2010. And thanks to the Texas Department of Transportation, city of Victoria and Victoria County working together, these two projects will be implemented and completed within two years.

In the words of highway department engineer Lonnie Gregorcyk, "It's a joint effort."

Teamwork always works, and we congratulate all involved in making these intersections happen.

Initially, the projects were estimated to cost $22.6 million. But bids now are expected to come in lower.

Contracts for the projects could be awarded as early as May with construction beginning in summer.

When these overpasses are completed, many of us can give a sigh of relief, knowing that our students are safer, as well as motorists and pedestrians.

Again, we thank all involved for making these overpasses possible and consequently making these highly traversed intersections safer for all.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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