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County to review cost-saving plan involving TxDOT

July 16, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.
Updated July 17, 2017 at 6 a.m.

From left, Commissioner Danny Garcia, Precinct 1; Commissioner Kevin Janak, Precinct 2; Commissioner Gary Burns, Precinct 3; Commissioner Clint Ives, Precinct 4; and County Judge Ben Zeller

From left, Commissioner Danny Garcia, Precinct 1; Commissioner Kevin Janak, Precinct 2; Commissioner Gary Burns, Precinct 3; Commissioner Clint Ives, Precinct 4; and County Judge Ben Zeller

Victoria County and the Texas Department of Transportation are expected to divvy up work on bridges and roads to save the county from having to put up cash, said County Commissioner Clint Ives.

County commissioners are expected to discuss an agreement to allow the county to forgo paying to repair a bridge in exchange for replacing a culvert on Nursery Road. The agreement was made possible by a federal program aimed at helping counties fix expensive bridges, which are overseen by TxDOT.

"It's not feasible for counties to be able to finance a new bridge," said Ives. "Bridges are very expensive; we just can't afford (to rebuild them)."

Currently, a bridge that stretches across Arenosa Creek on Lasalle Road in Victoria County to County Road 325 in Jackson County needs to be rebuilt, according to the state. The federal government sets rules for how bridges must be built and is contributing about 80 percent of the money needed to replace the bridge.

Under the program, the county and the state generally are required to each pay about 10 percent of the project's cost, which is about $1 million total, said Ives. But the state is offering to pay Victoria County's share in exchange for asking the county to rebuild a culvert in the north part of the county.

The county's portion of the bridge project would have cost almost $100,000 - or $50,000 if split with Jackson County, Ives said. But instead, the county is agreeing to take on a project valued about $70,000.

"It is by far one of the best programs that TxDOT has that directly benefits counties," said Ives. "That $1 million bridge - we would struggle to come up with a way to pay for it."


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