The following is the Wharton County Comprehensive Improvement Plan as it relates to bridges across WC. This was introduced by the Wharton County Commissioners Court in preparation for the current Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. The budget began this month.
Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath said to utilize the current Federal Highway Bridge Grant funding, a bridge must be programmed and an Advance Funding Agreement must be in place before any equivalent match project work is done for WC to receive credit for that work.
The most recent inspections by the Texas Department of Transportation were completed this year.
Spenrath said one additional bridge was deemed eligible for the current Bridge Replacement Program. It was the East Street bridge over Draw located 0.3 miles north of FM 1299).
All other eligible bridges have been scheduled for renovation and Wharton County has received credit for a WC requisite match.
There are currently nine bridges in WC that score below a “70% Sufficiency Rating,” and are not eligible for the replacement program because they have no scores of 4 or less.
WC reports that two other low ranking bridges received “4 scores” and should become eligible in January 2021.
One bridge on CR 391 has been deemed ineligible because it has not been on the TxDOT bridge list for 10 years.
WC reports that TXDOT is currently asking for reconsideration on that bridge.
The bridge on East Street over Draw located 0.3 miles north of FM 1299 cost is approximately $889,812.
WC reports this bridge is 125 feet long by 19.3 feet wide.
WC is considered an economically disadvantaged county for FY 2020 and the 10% match is reduced to 6.9%. The match amount needed for this bridge would be $61,397.
The estimated bridge replacement cost for (Commissioner Doug Mathews) CR 424 is $100,000 so those local funds would be used for the $61,397 match needed.
The East Street over Draw has not yet been scheduled for reconstruction.
Judge Spenrath said any and all additional local bridge work would not get credited as future match participation in the Off-System Bridge Replacement Program unless the two aforementioned bridges get reclassified in 2021.