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Victoria overpass running behind schedule

By Melissa Crowe
Jan. 24, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.


OVERPASS PROJECT FACTS:

Spans from .6 miles west of Salem road to .5 miles east of Mockingbird LaneWork began June 632.95% complete42.46% time used

BUDGET INFORMATION:

Project Engineering: $872,745 - paid $645,333.88Construction: $17,378,743.93 - paid $5,833,593.17Construction Engineering: $801,500.51 - paid $126,159.66Contingency: $1,157,722.95 - paid n/aIndirect: $1,138,130.72 - paid n/aTotal Cost: $21,348,843.11 - paid $6,605,086.71

The overpass at Salem Road and Mockingbird Lane are behind schedule, but should be caught up soon, an official said.

The Texas Department of Transportation project is expected to increase safety by eliminating traffic conflict at the intersections of Zac Lentz Parkway with Salem Road and Mockingbird Lane on the northeast side of Victoria.

TxDOT Area Engineer Randy Bena said intersection with the parkway and Salem Road "has been a location of numerous accidents and fatality accidents" over the past 15 years.

The frontage roads to the 1.86-mile overpass should be complete in two to three weeks, he said.

"When they (maintenance crews) actually start building the bridges and approaches, they should be able to catch up," Bena said.

In the meantime, businesses on Loop 463 are feeling the effects of road construction.

Cameron Gomez, an employee at McCoy's Building Supply, 5803 NE Loop 463, said business has slowed since construction began.

"I wouldn't say we've been struggling," Gomez said. "Usually, when we open at 7 a.m. we're busy. Construction has slowed down business a lot."

While he said he is frustrated with the situation and worries the store may cut employee hours.

"We're just trying to wait it out," Gomez said.

He hopes business will pick up once the overpasses are complete.

"It will get more people into Victoria and they'll see what we're here," Gomez said.

Completion was slated for late 2012. Bena is optimistic the crews will catch up and finish on time.

He previously expected the frontage roads to be open by Thanksgiving, but that date was pushed back to mid-February.

Lately, the delay is weather related. Before that, unexpected utilities in the area had to be adjusted, as did some of the project's drainage, Bena said.

The $21-million project began June 6, and has used 121 of the allotted 285 project days, or 42 percent, according to a TxDOT project report.

However, the project is just under 33 percent complete with $6.6 million paid to date, according to that report.

Once the frontage roads open in the next few weeks, maintenance crews will work in the middle section hauling dirt and building the overpass. Bena said it will be easier to complete because crews will be away from traffic.

"It'll be a lot of dirt hauling, which goes a whole lot faster," Bena said.

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