Banty Lane, a roadway that is not a county maintained street, was damaged during Hurricane Harvey, primarily due to drainage issues. Almost 13 months later, in September 2018, 20-plus inches of rain fell in less than a week severely damaging Banty, as well as McCampbell Street, near its intersection with Banty. A 20-foot-wide by four-foot-deep gulley cut through McCampbell. The water streamed down Banty (west to east), carving out the dirt roadway and undermining McCampbell.
In January 2019 Aransas County commissioners approved three items in an attempt to upgrade Banty and bring it up to county road standards.
One of those items was to seek grant funding. The other items pertained to setting up a Citizen Participation Plan, which would have provided for property owners to share in the cost of upgrading the road to county standards.
Commissioners learned in April 2019 residents voted 62 percent against being assessed for its portion of the cost to improve the roadway, effectively ending the prospect of significant improvement to the street.
In July 2019 commissioners authorized Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills to sign a contract for engineering services with Hanson Professional Services, Inc. for services associated with the Texas Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) for the reconstruction of Banty Lane to pre-hurricane conditions, and authorized the judge to sign a Professional Services Agreement with Hanson Professional Services, Inc. for engineering services to provide additional drainage and other customary improvements to Banty Lane, above pre-hurricane conditions, subject to any revisions by the county attorney.
It was noted at that time the $350,000 grant would not bring Banty Lane up to county road standards.
Additional drainage work was to be accomplished with any funds left over from the grant, after the roadwork was completed.
In January commissioners authorized going out for bids, and March 9 they awarded the Banty Lane construction contract, per Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) 7219007, to Mo-Con Service, Inc.
Aransas County Road and Bridge Engineer David Reid said the bids for the project exceeded by $180,000 what the grant covers, but noted it is a project that needs to be completed.
In the March 9 meeting, Commissioner Jack Chaney, who represents the area in which Banty Lane is located, said, “This is as much a drainage project as it is a road project.”
The project is now completed, according to Reid. He said the current roadway is better than what it was before the storm, but it’s still not quite up to county road standards.
“We rebuilt the base and applied cement stabilization,” he said. “We’ll come back and chip-seal, hopefully this year, to seal what (is there).”