Required line relocation to cost city $1 million

Commerce – A mandate from the Texas Department of Transportation to move a number of underground utility lines will cost the City of Commerce close to $1 million.

The Commerce City Council during a workshop Tuesday discussed engineering and funding options for the upcoming project to rebuild the intersection at SH 11 and Loop 178. The project, to be built by TxDot, would also add travel lanes and shoulders from the intersection east to the South Sulphur River.

As a result, the City of Commerce is required to move a number of its utility lines running underneath the road, which mainly consists of water and sewer lines serving the Norris Community of Commerce. During the workshop, City Manager Dion Miller met with Council members, Hayter Engineering and financial consultant group First Southwest to discuss options.

The workshop focused on a suggested time schedule for the project's completion. First the City needs to the $1 million in funding for the project. A projected interest rate for the City would range between 4.5 and 5% over approximately 20 years. The City will also need to negotiate with several property owners for which utility lines will be moved to before they can begin to dig up the lines.

A cost projection sheet indicates the project will run just over $1 million, of which includes nearly $800,000 in a total construction base bid, 15% contingency valued at over $115,000, engineering at $70,000 and easement purchases to total around $22,000.

The City of Commerce is to be done with the line relocation by the fall, as TxDot plans to begin construction to begin by mid October.