County commits to repairing dangerous bridges

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Austin County commissioners approved a resolution May 29 to replace a bridge on Neuman Road and provide matching funds on a Texas Department of Transportation project to repair the Mill Creek Road Bridge.

“The state’s going to come in and help us with Mill Creek Road Bridge,” Lamp said. “We had to come up with approximately $80,000. That means that we’re coming up with 10 percent. That’s an $800,000 repair on Mill Creek Bridge. I had to come up with a cost method. Neuman Road, this wooden bridge out there is in dire straits also so we might as well just put it on the list and bite the bullet and see what we can do.”

The resolution, which reads as follows, was unanimously approved:

Whereas, the federal off-system bridge program is administered by the Texas Department of Transportation (the State) to replace or rehabilitate structurally deficient and functionally obsolete (collectively referred to as deficient) bridges located on public roads and streets off the designated highway system; and

Whereas, Austin County, hereinafter referred to as the Local Government owns a bridge located at Mill Creek on Mill Creek Road, National Bridge Inventory (NBI) Structure Number 13-008-0-AA03-66-003; and

Whereas, a project to remedy the bridge is included in the currently approved program of projects as authorized by Texas Transportation Commission Minute Order Number 115005, dated 08/31/2017, Control-Section-Job (CSJ) Number 0913-20-092; and

Whereas, the usual fund participation ratio for projects on such program is 80 percent federal, 10 percent state and 10 percent Local Government; and

Whereas, Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, Section 15.55(d) (43 TAC Section 15.55(d)) provides that under specified conditions the 10 percent Local Government match fund participation requirement may be waived with agreement by the Local Government to perform, or cause to be performed, an equivalent dollar amount of structural improvement work on other deficient bridges or deficient mainlane cross-drainage structures within its jurisdiction, such a project of structural improvement work being referred to as an “equivalent-match project”; and

Whereas, the estimated local match fund participation requirement on the approved federal off-system bridge project is $79,750, herein after referred to as the “participation-waived” project, such participation requirement the Local Government proposes to be waived and in return perform or cause to be performed equivalent-match project structural improvement work.

Therefore be it resolved that the Local Government perform, or cause to be performed, the following equivalent-match project(s) in return for waiver of the local match fund participation requirement on the approved federal off-system bridge program (participation-waived) project not yet awarded:

Norman Road over Draw (1.7 miles north of Lynn Road); on school bus route; replace wooden bridge; estimated cost $105,000

Be it further resolved that in receiving this waiver the Local Government acknowledges its obligation to conform with all conditions of 43 TAC Section 15.55(d); such conditions that include but are not restricted to the following:

1. The Local Government must be currently in compliance with load posting and closure regulations as defined in National Bridge Inspection Standards under U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Section 650.303.

2. The equivalent-match project work increases the load capacity of the existing bridge or other mainlane cross-drainage structure, or upgrades the structure to its original load capacity with a minimum upgrade to safely carry school bus loading if located on a school bus route.

3. In performing, or causing to be performed, the equivalent-match project(s), the Local Government assumes all responsibilities for engineering and construction, and complying with all applicable state and federal environmental regulations and permitting requirements for the structures being improved.

4. The work on the proposed equivalent-match project(s) has not begun and will not begin until the local match fund participation waiver approval process has been completed.

5. The Local Government will be allowed three years after the contract award of the participation-waived project to complete the structural improvement work on the equivalent match project(s).

6. Should this waiver request be approved, an appropriate written agreement or amendment to a previously executed agreement will be executed between the State and Local Government.

Approved this the 29th day of May 2018.

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