Culvert project moves closer

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The long-awaited culvert project on Front Street behind Whataburger is ready to go.

If you drive down the road, you will see plenty of culverts on top of each other along Allen's Creek.

The project is shy a contractor and has been bogged down by FEMA the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

City Manager Larry Kuciemba said he just got off the phone with FEMA April 6, and they will finalize the deal.

He said the people at FEMA changed and the city is dealing with their seventh different group.

“We’ve had it,” Kuciemba said. “We’ve got the person who’s been there the longest right now, and she is taking over our project.

The project's engineering, elevation, and base are complete, he said, but the city does not have the equipment.

“We’re going to contract it out,” he said. “It might even be the person who is doing the old 90 bridge because they have the equipment for it.”

The city initially thought it had equipment big enough for the project.

“We had to get a crane from Mark III from Houston to unload them for us,” he said.

Kuciemba will ask for authority to go out for bid.

“We still lack culverts for Jason Road and Overcreek,” he said. “We’re going to work with the railroad to let us put it on their side of the road. We’re ready; we just need the confirmation.

The city has called the railroad for the last two weeks about access.

“It’s hard to get ahold of people over there, but that is our approach,” he said. “There will not be people putting it in next week.”

The city is also examining options for the drainage situation in Sealy that will improve the situation.

“I am asking for authority to go start and do that,” he said.

He calls rain scary.

“I hope we don’t get flooded,” he said.

One of the bigger problems exists below Jack in the Box to Schmidt Road.

“That goes to our treatment plant to Stockhold Road then to Mixsville Road,” he said

He called that area a big problem.

“Commissioner King is coming from that way up, and I talked to the judge yesterday, and we want to go and help the county,” he said. “Once we open that up, it’s going to make a humongous difference.”

Kuciemba said they want to create a detention pond and not a fish pond.

“It holds water, and once it stops raining you release it, and it is dry,” he said.

They have a fish pond at B&PW and Cryan Park.

“We’re looking at working with a couple of different entities to build detention ponds,” he said. “If they want to have a fish pond we’ll make a little pond on the side to put the fish in.”

He said it’s a problem he inherited.

“We’re going to make lemonade out of the lemons,” he said.

He also spoke about diverting water off Peschel Road.

“So it won’t go through B&PW Park, then on through Westview and on Schmidt Road,” he said. “Making the ditch wider does not detain the water.”

Kuciemba said the city has ideas that should work.

“We’re working with the school on some things and some other entities about things,” he said. “You’re going to see some improvements.”

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