WilCo approves three-party agreement to finance I-35 frontage road constuction

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Williamson County commissioners approved their part of a three-party agreement regarding a railroad crossing on the I-35 northbound frontage road at SE Inner Loop in Georgetown.

At the Commissioners Court meeting Sept. 2, commissioners agreed to fund the construction of a crossing on the I-35 northbound frontage road over an existing railroad track that the Georgetown Railroad Co. owns. The frontage road construction isa Texas Department of Transportation project.

It’s an agreement as to whos going to do what. It has taken well over two years to put this together, said Robert Daigh, Williamson County senior director of infrastructure. Its a complex agreement with a lot of issues to resolve.

Daigh said the Georgetown Railroad Co. will maintain the crossing, and TxDOT will maintain the road.

The crossing has been included in the county’s $19 million cost for the I-35 northbound frontage road project, which is a pass-through financing project.

According to TxDOT, the state created pass-through financing as a way to stretch tax highway dollars and allow local governmental entities such as Williamson County to fund upfront costs for constructing a state highway project.In doing so, the construction projects on state highway systems are accelerated.

Williamson County sold bonds to fund the project and will be paid back a portion of the cost at a rate determined by how many drivers use the roadway.

Terms of the agreement say TxDOT will repay the county annually at $0.07 per vehicle-mile traveled on the road.

A minimum payment to protect the county has been set at $549,850 a year. The maximum amount the county may receive from TxDOT is $1,099,700 a year, which is not to exceed 63.5 percent of the construction cost for a total of $12,096,700, Daigh said.

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