The Rockport City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 12, received an update about the Key Allegro Bridge.

The bridge is being constructed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as part of its Highway Bridge Program.

“(It’s now) basically going to be built with no local tax funds,” said City Manager Kevin Carruth.

The estimated price tag for the new bridge is $2.4 million, of which the city will be responsible for roughly $240,000 (its 10 percent match), which will most likely be paid via other sources.

The new bridge is included in TxDOT’s funding cycle, which began Sept. 1 of this year.

“TxDOT couldn’t do a lot until Sept. 1, but a lot of things have been accomplished behind the scenes,” said Carruth. “We’ve been working on utility relocation, and our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit has been approved.”

Public Works Director Mike Donoho noted TxDOT stepped up to the plate in that the bridge is not on a state road.

“We look forward to getting this project moving,” said Donoho. “You’ll start seeing stuff happen after the first of the year.

Bids for the bridge, however, will not be let until January. TxDOT originally planned to let bids in November, but the final bridge design was not complete.

“This project has been (on the top of the list) the past two years, and continues to be on the top of the list,” said Donoho.

He said additional conduit is being installed underwater, which can handle additional cabling, etc. in the future.

Donoho said the “footprint” of the new bridge will be a little different than the current bridge due to the design of the approaches.

He said the city plans to begin relocation of utilities by March 2020.

“We will do it as quickly as we can,” he said.

It was also noted four parcels of land need to be acquired. The city is engaging with a TxDOT approved right of way (ROW) acquisition firm to ensure the ROW acquisition proceeds smoothly and timely.

Councilman Bob Cunningham asked, “TxDOT looks to start construction in July (2020)?”

Donoho said, “(With everything that is currently being accomplished) we anticipate being able to start a little earlier.”

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