The city is working to secure federal funding for a proposed $30 million in projects to prevent a catastrophic failure of the steep slope above Lake Shore Drive between Koehne Park and Mount Carmel Drive.
A consultant the city hired met with Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, in May about getting funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the projects, the consultant told the city council Thursday.
The city would need $70,000 for the project in its fiscal year 2017 budget, $2.8 million in 2018 and $26.2 million during the next three years, which adds up to more than $29 million.
Tom Ray of Hicks-Ray Associates said he left the meeting with Flores feeling optimistic the city will get a line item in the corps’ budget.
“If we can get a line item in that budget, no matter how meager, of some substance . . . every year we can add to that,” he said.
The project would pay for perforated drainage pipes along the slope and hundreds of 35-feet long steel bars to nail the soil in place. The installation of pipes could begin in 2019, and the bars could be placed in the early 2020s.
The city is set to start work on a shorter-term project next year that would repave the stretch and bank its curve at a cost of $380,000. City officials have said the curve becomes dangerous in rain, even going as far as closing the stretch during storms to prevent wrecks. It stopped closing the road after it installed a speed indicator, which officials say has cut down on wrecks.
The new pavement will allow water to run through a permeable top layer and drain to the side without making the surface as slippery as standard pavement.
The city will pay up to $122,500 for the 2017 project, and the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program and the Texas Department of Transportation will pay for the rest.
A $510,000 engineering study identified the potential for the slope above the road to fail, potentially destroying the road below.
Remedying problems with the slope’s stability will make up the bulk of the $30 million in longer-term projects.