Rockport Public Works Director Mike Donoho gave an update regarding the Key Allegro Bridge at the Rockport City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday, July 23.

The estimated priced 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 could be paid via other sources.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is including the bridge replacement in its Highway Bridge Program during its next fiscal year, which begins Sept. 1.

It was noted at Tuesday’s meeting residents should not expect to see heavy equipment at the site Sept. 1.

Bids will be let in November, and it will take about one year to construct after a contractor is selected.

Donoho said TxDOT and city officials met July 18 to review progress and preconstruction preparation, as well as to look at construction schedules.

He noted although construction has not begun, a lot of preparatory work is underway.

There is an eight-inch water line and two-inch gas line attached to the bridge and plans are in the works to have them moved.

“Moving them (underground) will not interfere with the construction,” said Donoho.

He said the utility work is a separate FEMA project.

City Manager Kevin Carruth said TxDOT originally planned to lower and flatten out the bridge, but those plans have changed to provide more navigational clearance at the request of the Aransas County Navigation District (ACND).

He noted that means the bridge will require a little larger footprint than the current bridge.

The change requires the acquisition of additional land for the bridge approaches, but that appears to not be a major problem.

Donoho said the ACND and the Key Allegro Property Owners Association control most of the additional land required. There are two small private parcels, but TxDOT will submit the paperwork to those landowners.

He said the hump on the current bridge, which created a blind spot, will be flattened considerably.

Donoho also noted core sampling and environmental work is currently underway, and should not cause any delays in construction.

“We are very much looking forward to completing this project,” said Donoho. “It’s a reminder (of Harvey) we want to get out of the way.”

The bridge, which is the only ingress/egress point to Key Allegro, was heavily damaged by Harvey, and heavy rains that followed a couple of months after the storm.

Traffic is limited to one lane, controlled by a traffic signal.

The new bridge will have a 100-foot span, and will be about the same height.

One lane will be constructed, and traffic moved to that lane. The traffic signals being used now will continue to be used until the second lane is completed.

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