The long-awaited water pipe replacement project is set to get underway soon after the Devine City Council unanimously awarded the Phase I contract of $3,143,106.83 to Gonzalez De La Garza during the Regular meeting held Thursday, April 23.
City Engineer Raul Garcia estimated that Phase I, which consists of replacing all the asbestos cement water pipes south of Colonial Parkway with PVP pipes, will last about a year.
Garcia said that eight bids were received and recommended Gonzalez De La Garza, which he described as the “lowest responsible bidder.”
“Have shown Gonzalez De La Garza to have satisfactorily completed similar water line projects, have provided a bid bond, and is capable of according to contract,” Garcia said.
The full-time inspector for Phase I is Luis Balderas, whom Garcia said was finishing up a similar job in Encinal.
“And we will also have a City employee with him at all times,” Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez said.
Phase II of the project, which will swap asbestos cement water pipes north of Colonial Pkwy. with PVC pipes, will be bid as a separate project and will begin at a later date.
Additionally, secondary transmission lines from the Edwards Aquifer wells on FM 1343 will be completed at the elevated tank at the well yard on Commercial Dr.
Any remaining funds will be used to replace cast iron and steel pipes, as well as to replace the trailer at the well yard with a new building and lab.
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) awarded the City $9.9 million in financial assistance for the project in March 2018, which included a $500,000 grant and $9.4 million in loans. The City raised utility rates later that year in order to fund loan repayment, which began in February 2019.
“Everybody should be very excited,” Mayor Cory Thompson said. “It’s been a long time to get to this point.”
The motion to award the Phase I contract to Gonzalez De La Garza was made by District 4 Councilman Chuck Guzman and District 3 Councilman David Espinosa passed 5-0, with District 1 Councilman Rufino “Flipper” Vega, District 2 Councilman Steve Lopez, and District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall all voting for the measure.
By Marly Davis