Utility relocation is first move

The Rockport City Council has approved a contract to replace and relocate the existing water and natural gas utility lines located on the existing Key Allegro Bridge

The Rockport City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, March 24, awarded a contract to Alcott Inc., dba TCH Directional Drilling to replace and relocate the existing eight-inch water and two-inch natural gas utility lines located on the existing Key Allegro Bridge.

The company turned in a low bid of $299,742.50.

The project will include the installation of approximately 500 linear feet of eight-inch water line and 335 linear feet of three-inch gas line installed by conventional trenching.

The project will be paid with funds from the city’s 2007 bond. There is an outside chance the city can be reimbursed by FEMA for some of the cost, but a final determination has not been made.

“This is the first step in rebuilding the Key Allegro Bridge,” said Public Works Director Mike Donoho. “This is one of those projects we’ve put in many hours, and blood, seat and tears.”

The contractor will bore straight down, and then under Blevins Channel.

“It will be underground and can’t be blown away,” said Donoho. “This will add to safety and aesthetics. It also allows us to move the bridge just a little bit.”

Councilman Bob Cunningham asked if all rights of way had been secured.

Donoho noted Haalf & Associates is working on all the rights of way, and should have them all secured by April 15.

“We are working with willing participants and don’t expect any issues,” said Donoho.

The contract calls for TCH Directional Drilling to begin work within 10 days after execution of the contract. The work should take about 60 days to complete.

City officials and staff have continued to meet with Teas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) representatives to review progress of preconstruction preparation and determination of construction schedules for the bridge.

“TxDOT is very cautious about announcing an actual start date (on the bridge’s construction),” said Donoho. “They anticipate (it will take up to one year) building the bridge (once construction begins).”

Mayor Pat Rios noted an enormous number of hours have been spent on the bridge project and it’s finally getting started.

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