The Texas Department of Transportations wants to make some permanent fixes to the Highway 30 bridge over Gibbons Creek, after patching it the last few years. But, what will be a state run project, won’t be free for the county.
Road and bridge engineer Harry Walker spoke on the county contributing to Right of Way Funds, and what TXDOT presented to him, at Wednesday’s Commissioner Court meeting.
“In the state statutes, there are provisions that require local governments participate in right of way costs for state projects, if the state requests it. They have decided they want to request that on this projects. They have come up with a figure just over $8,000, as the counties contribution to that,” said Walker. “I view this as an unfunded mandate, that I do not think we have the option to turn down. We depend on TXDOT too much for bridge funding, and other things where…I do not think we want to get into a fight with them over this.”
Walker went on to say they do not have that budgeted for in this years budget, as TXDOT just made them aware of the possibility in the last couple weeks.
“I cannot tell you from agreement language when we would be obligated to make the payment. What I would expect is when they bid, and get their final figure, then they would ask us to make payment then. So, it could be in this budget cycle, but it could not be,” Walker said.
He did note that TXDOT uses good discretion when choosing to ask counties for funds.
The Commissioner’s approved that funding to be sent to TXDOT. No word on when the bridge improvements would take place.