After experiencing delays for nearly two years, Round Rock City Council approved a request to terminate the city’s contract with Capital Excavation Company for a Gattis School Road widening project.

“We've been plagued with utility relocations. We’ve been delayed, delayed, delayed,” Director of Transportation Garry Hudder said. “For a contractor to hold onto a contract of this magnitude, they've given up other work. ... They finally kind of reached the end.”

The overview

The original $17.5 million contract, approved in August 2022, included a six-month delay to allow for providers to complete utility relocations for the project, according to city documents.

Utility companies have failed to meet the specified timeline, Hudder said, leaving the project suspended since October 2022.

The planned roadwork consisted of widening the existing four-lane roadway to a major arterial six-lane thoroughfare with a raised median to align with the city's Transportation Master Plan.

The scope of the work for Segment 6 of Gattis School Road work—from Via Sonoma Trail to Red Bud Lane—also included the addition of a right-turn lane at the Red Bud Lane intersection and a drainage analysis.

Engineering firms had already been vetted by city staff and approved by City Council for segments 4, 5 and 6 of the project.

Put in perspective

Part of the delay comes from having to coordinate multiple utility companies responsible for relocating infrastructure, such as Oncor—the power company—and various telecommunications companies, Oncor spokesperson Armando Perez told Community Impact.

Inclement weather conditions over the last couple of years have also impacted Oncor’s capacity for nonessential work.

“Sometimes our schedule does get impacted by the need to restore power during major weather events,” Perez said. “It's very common to see active construction, and then during weather, [Oncor] reprioritizes the restoration of power. As soon as resources are freed up from that, we do our best to get back on schedule.”

Perez also said each project may require varying levels of complexity in design and relocation procedures, ranging from simple to intricate. On-site problems during the relocation process could warrant changes to the overall design plans.

“Sometimes that could trigger maybe going from a wooden to a concrete pole. Sometimes it could mean adding some span guys [or stabilizing cables] to help adjust the alignment. So it really is a process,” Perez said.

Looking ahead

The utility relocations are now actively underway.

The city will allow time for the utility companies to finish their work before reopening the bidding process for the project. Hudder anticipates the project will be rebid in May.

Visit the city's transportation website for other planned projects and updates.