County, TxDOT lock horns over road damage
By LPR Staff
State-funded road construction in rural Caldwell County is causing headaches for neighboring residents.
Caldwell County Unit Road Supervisor Dwight Jeffrey reported to the Commissioners’ Court on Monday that the construction on FM 713 and Highway 86 in the McMahan area has resulted in damage to recently-repaired Ca
ldwell County roads – damage, he said, that neither the State nor their contractor has any intention of repairing.
“We’ve taken pictures of their trucks being overloaded and driving up and down [Taylorsville Road],” Jeffrey said. “And we’ve seen them driving heavy equipment that’s tearing up our paving. But when I asked what they planned to do about it, [the project supervisor] just shrugged his shoulders.”
Jeffrey said that he had discussed the damage with Baytown-based Angel Bros. Enterprises, which acts as a paving contractor for several Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) jobs, including work last summer in Lockhart, and the current project in the McMahan area. Those talks, he said, were unsatisfying at best.
“He asked me what the weight limit is on that road,” Jeffrey said. “But weight limits are state-mandated, and the weight limit doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are driving overloaded trucks and tearing up our roads.”
He said he had escalated the concerns to TxDOT’s regional administrators, who gave a similar response, but neither committed, nor even offered, to repair the damage.
Caldwell County repaved Taylorsville Road less than a year ago, and the construction-related damage is so significant that the already-overburdened Unit Road System may be forced to pave it again, just to maintain its condition, without thought to improving it.
County Judge Tom Bonn asked the Court’s attorney, Ron Heggemeier, to look into the remedy options the county might have to recover their losses or to have the road repaired.
In other business, the Court received information, but took no action, on changes to the Texas County and District Retirement System benefit plan, of which Caldwell County employees are members.
Questions arose during the presentation regarding changes to the employee-level and county-level contributions, and the Commissioners voted to table the discussion until they have the chance to review their options.
In brief news:
The Commissioners entered a proclamation declaring the week of May 15, 2011, as Emergency Medical Services Week.
They approved training hours for Judges Matt Kiely and Alfonso Campos.
The Court approved the submission of a grant to help fund Caldwell County Juvenile Probation’s Community Service Restitution Program.
They discussed setting fees for county records and audio recordings from the County Clerk’s Office.
The county paid bills in the amount of $249,758, which includes $17,750.69 for indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners routinely meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Conference Room of the Scott Annex, 1403 Blackjack Street in Lockhart.