Remainder of work will likely be subcontracted out

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Precincts in Jim Wells County recently underwent a $250,000 seal coating improvement project.

Wagner & Company has completed 75 percent of the project so far, which occurred over a five-day period. The company depleted available caliche reserves for the project, and may subcontract the remainder of the work, county commissioners said Thursday.

The original proposal called for $201,000 for the project, at $1.48 per square yard. The contract held the option for additional county miles to be considered, which raised the final cost to $250,000.

County Commissioner Oswald Alanis said that Pct. 3 was completed on Saturday, with a total of $93,000 spent on his precinct's roadways.

He said so far, 4.5 miles worth of roadway were seal coated, although the project hasn't been completed.

That total includes County Road 381, which leads to the Covance research facility, which was in poor condition because of the constant business traffic and transportation to and from the facility, Alanis said.

Several roads in the Orange Grove area were also covered, along with portions of the Jim Wells County Fairgrounds, to which all four precincts contributed.

"It takes a lot of money to keep the infrastructure in place, but we do the best we can with what we got," Alanis said.

Commissioner Zenaida Sanchez said Wagner did as much as they could with the material stockpiled at the county fairgrounds. The rock stockpiled there originally came from Uvalde. Three roads Sanchez designated for seal coating were not done by Wagner, and Sanchez said she believes the company will likely subcontract the job to another company for completion.

Sanchez focused her attention on several heavily traveled roadways in her precinct, such as Corina Street, County Road 116, Range Street and others. Those areas face heavy traffic from residents, buses and delivery vehicles for businesses located there.

"What we try to do is address some of the worst and most heavily traveled roads that have pavement on them, since it is that much more expensive for roads that just have caliche," Sanchez said.

She noted the price for seal coating has seen a dramatic rise in recent years, from $0.80 per square yard just a few years ago, to $1.48 per square yard today.