The city of Bridge City may be able to save some taxpayers’ money by using a method to repair manholes rather than having to replace them.

City Manager Jerry Jones said the city has been using a method that sprays concrete in manholes to prevent leaking. Thus far, the city has repaired 55 manholes and replaced 60 manholes that couldn’t be repaired. The process has been around for about 15 years.

“It’s a pretty common process (repairing the manholes). Some use a fiberglass lining or other methods. We received mud from the storm into the holes of the manhole covers that went into the sewer lines we cleaned out,” he said.

Juan Moreno of Lewis Concrete Restoration of Buda said the machine is called the Spray Master and sprays three inches of concrete to the walls of the manhole.

“We spray it and we stop the leaks after that. We make sure everything is sealed,” Moreno said.

He said it takes him and his crew about two hours to repair a manhole. They planned to repair at least 10 in Bridge City on Tuesday.

Another Orange County city may be interested in the manhole repairing process.

Pinehurst City Administrator Joe Parkhurst said the city has some cracked manholes and sewer lines around Whippoorwill Street.

“They’re old clay line that were laid 50 years ago. There’s a lot of leaks and roots that are growing in,” he said.

Rainwater has infiltrated the lines and the roots are blocking things up.

Some of the manholes are cracked and seeping.

Parkhurst believes the Spry Master could help for less expense than having to replace manholes. He estimates it may cost nearly $1 million to replace all of them in the city.

In addition to repairing water infiltration into the manholes, the city of Bridge City is repairing lines, pipe bursting and repairing streets.

Jones said they received $9.6 million in Round I Hurricane Ike Funding with $2.23 million set aside for sewer work, $425,330 for manhole work and $1.27 million for main line repairs.

One million dollars was left over from Round I for the city to use for chipping and sealing streets. The project should start in two weeks.

“We’ll have 80 percent of the streets in Bridge City completed in about two years after funding. That’s something we would had never got to do. We still have a long way to go,” Jones said.

The city received funding at the end of 2010 to start the projects. The hold up has been the release of funds which are done in stages by the government.