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TxDOT grant paves way for Rusk County road repairs

By Alex Byrd
Aug. 8, 2014 at 10 p.m.

HENDERSON - Rusk County commissioners have approved a resolution asking the Texas Department of Transportation to grant the county money to repair 14 roads damaged by heavy equipment used in drilling and mining.

Amazing Grants Inc. and Rusk County commissioners discussed the resolution Tuesday, which was then approved by commissioners.

The 2013 Legislature approved $220 million to help counties after officials statewide asked for help with damaged roads and bridges near increased mineral activity.

Rusk County was one of those counties.

"It has begun now that we've done an environmental assessment, and we are waiting on TxDOT to give us a clearance to move forward," Mary Kay Thomas, president of Amazing Grants, said.

Each Texas county was allotted an amount to apply for projects.

County commissioners were to designate zones containing at least one damaged road.

TxDot granted 80 percent of necessary funds to Rusk County earlier this year.

As part of the agreement, Rusk County must match 20 percent of the provided $1.5 million, which is $320,000.

Commissioners want to apply the grant and out-of-pocket funds to damaged roads throughout the county.

"TxDot will likely start right away before the budget year ends Dec. 31, but we also have to factor in weather and how far the grant will go," Thomas said of road repairs.

Of the 14 roads, three need more extensive work: Rusk CR 308 from FM 840 to U.S. 259; Rusk CR 301 from East Main to FM 840 and Rusk CR 428 from FM 323 to Texas 64.

"Three out of 14 of the roads need to be engineered, which means specialty work done by an engineer," Thomas said.

According to the 2014 county grant engineering agreement, the total project delivery should not cost more than $50,000 for the county's Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program.



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