Crys­tal Falls road work likely to be put on hold

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Ben­jam­inwer­mund bw­er­mund@states­

LE­AN­DER — A project that would have repaved por­tions of Crys­tal Falls Boule­vard will likely be shelved at Thurs­day’s City Coun­cil meet­ing.

City staff will rec­om­mend putting the project — which would have added about an inch and a half of new as­phalt to the road from Bag­dad Road to Lake­line Boule­vard — on hold af­ter find­ing it would be a much pricier ven­ture than ex­pected, City Man­ager Kent Ca­gle said.

The city re­ceived two bids for the work at $189,969 and $208,054.

“They came in so high, we just de­cided we’re go­ing to have to put it off for some time,” Ca­gle said. “Crys­tal Falls is ac­tu­ally in de­cent shape, it just looks bad.”

Ca­gle said the city had asked around for in­for­mal quotes for the project that put the work at a lower price than the ac­tual bids that came back.

“It was well over what we ex­pected,” Ca­gle said.

He said the city has seen that hap­pen on mul­ti­ple projects. “You’re see­ing that on all con­struc­tion projects — prices are go­ing up,” he said.

The repaving wasn’t as high a pri­or­ity as im­prove­ments to the County Glen neigh­bor­hood and CR 179, which both came in over bud­get, Ca­gle said.

The County Glen project, which will re­ha­bil­i­tate roads in the neigh­bor­hood, was bud­geted at $1.43 mil­lion, but ended up cost­ing al­most $1.9 mil­lion, Ca­gle said.

The CR 179 project, which will widen the road, was bud­geted at $3.44 mil­lion but came in at $3.89 mil­lion, he said.

Con­struc­tion should be­gin on those projects soon, and the city has other im­por­tant projects on the hori­zon, in­clud­ing work on the Crys­tal Falls and U.S. 183 in­ter­sec­tion and the Lake­line Boule­vard ex­ten­sion, he said.

But the repaving of Crys­tal Falls will still prob­a­bly hap­pen within the next cou­ple of years, Ca­gle said, when the need is greater and con­struc­tion in the area has slowed.

“We’ll just try again next year or the next,” he said. “The need will be greater a cou­ple years from now and we’ll prob­a­bly have a longer­last­ing prod­uct with­out the con­struc­tion in the area. It’s not a crit­i­cal need at this point.”

More than a thou­sand peo­ple showed up Satur­day for the Christ­mas pa­rade and tree light­ing. Con­tact Ben­jamin Wermund at 246-1150. Twit­ter: @Ben­jam­inEW

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