Water pipe replacement inches towards restart

Devine’s water pipe replacement project is a step closer to resuming after the City came to terms with general contractor Triun regarding payment.
“The City engineer went ahead and approved pay applications eight and nine,” City Administrator John Vidaurri said. “And so those are being submitted to Langford, who will in turn submit it to the Water Board for payment. Once that’s done, we can go ahead and start with Phase II.”
Council awarded Triun, known at the time as Gonzalez De La Garza, a $3.1 million contract for Phase I of the $9.9M water pipe replacement project in April 2020 (see “Devine City Council awards $3.1M contract for Phase I of water pipe replacement project” in the April 29, 2020 edition of The Devine News).
Triun began work on the project in August 2020, and Council terminated the City’s contract with the company in an emergency meeting on March 26 (see “Devine fires water pipe contractors, project on hold” in the Mar. 31 ed. of the News).
The project has been at a standstill ever since as the City and Triun worked to come to terms over payment.
“The Water Board already has plans and specifications for Phase II prepared by the City Engineer,” Vidaurri said. “So we will be required to go through the standard bid process to award the bid to whomever.”
The Texas Water Development Board awarded the City a $500,000 grant and a $9.4M loan in March 2018 to replace asbestos cement and cast iron water pipes throughout Devine, and as such remains involved in the project (see “City of Devine gets $9.9M for water system improvements” in the Mar. 6, 2018 edition of the News).
“If I remember right, that first round that we went through, that took almost two months, maybe three months, just at the state level,” District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall said. “Then they came back and we had to go for the 30-day bid thing, and then that goes back to the state, and that took almost eight weeks if I remember right.
“So we’re still really looking at almost eight months before we start again.”
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer