Bridge City officials late Tuesday announced details of how a near $9.7 million grant will be used to make drainage, road, water system and sewer repairs.

The grant was announced in February by the Office of Rural and Community Affairs, as applied for through the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission. City Manager Jerry Jones said the firm of Gary Traylor and Associates has been chosen as grant administrator, which acts as a liaison between various entities; and DP Consultants has been hired as project engineer.

Tuesday’s announced plans are not final, pending future city council discussion. Work could begin within a month or two, Jones said.

About $3.2 million is earmarked for I&I repair (inflow and infiltration) of sewer lines, with plans for emergency generators at the water plant, lift stations and city hall. The water plant generator would also cover the public works complex. All generators will be natural gas except for two, which will be diesel. 

Streets pre-approved for hot-mix asphalt, Jones said, would be ones that took on the most flooding during Hurricane Ike. Streets like Donald, Troy and Carey Lee, he said, are concrete and don’t need to be redone. Attention will mostly likely be given to streets such as Jones, Roberts and Nevils, Rachal Drive and part of Farm Road 1442. Mayor Kirk Roccaforte mentioned that some sections of Rachal have already been redone.

“Some of the damage on these roads wasn’t caused by the water, but by traffic,” Jones said. “You had all these work vehicles hauling things in and out for months. They definitely need to be repaired.” He added, “Anything scheduled near the Ferry Drive project will have to wait, because we can’t tie up two or three roads at once.”
The Ferry Drive underground work is done, he said, but the base work, curb work and surfacing could possibly take up to one year. That did not mean repairs would be excluded on streets around Ferry Drive, he said.

Some $400,000 is slated for sewer work along North John St., and about $1.7 million for an additional five miles of 22-inch hot mix asphalt.

About $1.8 million will be used, Jones said, “to clean out as many roadside ditches as possible.” Those funds are from FEMA and not part of the $9.7 million ORCA grant, he said.

In February, the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission announced the ORCA grant for infrastructure improvements.

Commission staff reviewed damage assessments, breaking repair requests into the categories of water, wastewater, public safety facilities, drainage and transportation. Specific city and county assessments were compared with the overall assessment amounts for the entire county to obtain a percentage. Specific local entities were then allocated an amount of funds based on their community’s percentage of damage compared to the damage within their county. Other sources used to determine amounts were figures from FEMA, the ORCA the Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management.