Jersey Village set to encase inter-connect water line

As the Hwy. 290 expansion project nears Jersey Village, the frontage roads and flyovers are expected to be built over the city's inter-connect water line. At their Nov. 19 meeting, Jersey Village City Council approved various ordinances to amend the budget for the 2012–2013 budget to cover costs associated with the encasement of the city's water line.

"We've been informed by TxDOT that our 20-inch water line that we have as the inter-connect with the City of Houston needs to be encased all the way underneath [Hwy. 290] because they are going to be moving the feeder roads," said Michael Brown, director of the parks and recreation department.

In order to cover engineering and surveying costs for the necessary encasement of Jersey Village's inter-connect water line, City Council approved an $87,800 amendment to the utility fund budget.

"When we first built the water line, the requirement was that wherever there is paving, we had to encase it, and we did," said Frank Brown, principal with Brooks and Sparks Inc., a consulting engineering firm. "When [TxDOT] did the flyovers for the Beltway 8 feeder roads and so forth, they built those roads over our line."

According to city manager Mike Castro, the cost of the project is not reimbursable, but it would be two to four times more expensive if it were to be completed at a later date. The total construction costs is estimated between $750,000 and $1 million, while the initial cost for implementing the water line was estimated at less than $500 million, according to Brown.

"The encasement construction itself is not like digging a water line," he said. "You actually have to excavate around the water line while it's still in service, so it's a tricky construction."

No service interruptions are anticipated during the construction, Brown said.

Other changes were made to the general, utility, motel tax fund and red light camera budgets for a total of $157,800.