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In an effort to address citizen complaints regarding the conditions of Sand Hollow and Chaparral Roads, Frio County Engineer Roxana Garcia said that the road and bridge department workers have recently made temporary repairs to those roadways.
“This will not fix the underlying soft spots or drainage issues,” Garcia sais. “This project is intended to address the ride issues while the county completes its planning phase and prepares design plans for full reconstruction of the roads.
“Full reconstruction is being planned with key personnel from the county and city of Pearsall. There are several factors that remain up for discussion before plans become finalized.”
The engineer said that estimated costs for a full roadway reconstruction, which includes mechanical and chemical stabilization of the road bed material, is estimated at $5,700,000 for Sand Hollow Road and $271,000 for Chaparral Road.
“These estimates do not include drainage improvements, which are still being developed for preliminary analysis,” she said. “An interlocal agreement between the county and the city is needed to collaborate the drainage improvements and extend the construction limits.”
Garcia also said that the city is planning water main improvements in the area that must be completed prior to the roadway construction.
“The county is still considering changing the limits of the roadway reconstruction or to construct the project in multiple phases to due to budgetary constraints,” she said.
The county engineer also addressed the county’s stockpile of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) being held behind the regional park.
“A lot of citizens have taken notice of the fact that the county is stockpiling RAP material behind the Regional Park and they want to know how to get some. It is a common misconception that these materials are free,” Garcia said. “They are not. The materials count against our allocation and that is converted to a dollar figure that is reported to others. With that said, materials are being distributed to each precinct. We have over 380 miles of road we have to maintain, much of which is unpaved.
“We were able to successfully acquire 7,390 cubic yards of salvaged base, 39,950 cubic yards of RAP and 500 cubic yards of new material with an estimated savings to the county of $614,083. The material was acquired through the Local Government Assistance Program, which requires the Department of Transportation to assist counties with surplus materials to repair and maintain county roads, with preference to counties with an above average number of overweight trucks.
“My relationship with TxDOT has always been good and it has helped to identify future funds and materials for the county.
“The county cannot donate, give, sell, or otherwise transfer materials to a private entity, which includes any person, corporation, or anyone else,” she said. “The county can enter into an interlocal agreement with the various cities to collaborate on projects that will incorporate these materials.”
She said the county is drafting an agreement and working with the cities to identify common projects and citizens can reach out to their respective county commissioner or the county engineer to be added to the waitlist. “Our crews are prioritizing roads with the most traffic or unpassable roads but everyone should see improvements across the county,” she said. “It does take time to get these projects accomplished. Please be patient.”
The county engineer also said that Frio is working with the city of Pearsall to enforce park hours, specifically the basketball courts at Fireman’s Park, as approved in the Frio County Park Rules. During a meeting with the city, it was agreed that the county would take measures to close Fireman’s Park, and specifically the basketball courts, due to the noise and disruptive activities occurring after park hours.
Strict observation of park hours started on Monday, April 26 as new gates are being installed and fence modifications are being made to the basketball courts.
“I am told that city law enforcement officials will be monitoring the area at the request of the adjacent residents and in compliance with the city’s noise ordinance,” Garcia said. “After hours trespassers should be aware that the park is equipped with cameras that will also be used to monitor park activities.”