Arcadia considers new Oak Street bridge for flood work

Arcadia officials decided to endorse a bridge to replace Oak Street rather than allowing Turton Creek to overrun the road as part of a flood plan being designed by federal engineers.

The decision came following a closed meeting last Wednesday during which the council continued its review of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report that offers alternatives for a $40 million flood control project for the city.

Though the review was intended to help the city identify cost savings, the 125-foot-long bridge is estimated to cost $2.5 million versus $1 million for a so-called Texas crossing, s specially designed section of road that could carry excess water.

City administrator Chad Hawkins said the bridge option may need to be cleared with the state, which is providing $14.6 million toward the overall flood control project. Hawkins said the city would not be able to afford the additional cost of a bridge if it has to fund it.

Hawkins has said the engineering report is being reviewed in executive session because city officials are also discussing the possible purchase of property. The 95-page report has also not been made public.

Hawkins has said state and federal money along with city borrowing should be enough to cover the first phase of the flood control project. The initial phase covers levees and other flood control methods alone Turton Creek, the waterway that caused the most recent major flood in the city in 2017.

Work is also underway on a separate, $7 million internal drainage project that includes improved pumping capacity and storm drains to shed the rain that falls on the city. The internal drainage effort was carved out of the bigger corps study to try to reduce costs.

The last public estimate from the corps anticipates construction to begin in 2025.

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