Port Neches set for “new infrastructure for decades to come”

Published 7:25 pm Saturday, February 15, 2020

PORT NECHES — The city of Port Neches received a Harvey Community Development Block Grant from the Texas General Land Office in November 2018 to make improvements and changes to existing infrastructures.

The funds, totaling $2,965,377.65, are going to replace the water tower at Magnolia Avenue and 2nd Street and construct a water line between the Little Abbeyville and Saba Lane areas.

At this week’s city council meeting, officials approved contracts for Schaumburg and Polk Engineering to receive $184, 320 for their role in the water tower replacement, David J. Waxman, Inc. will receive $177,922.65 for administration and management services and LJA Engineering Inc. will service the water line project for $114,000 to begin the process.

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Port Neches City Manager Andre Wimer said both projects provide much needed improvements to the city’s water system.

“The water tower at Magnolia is the city’s oldest water tower right now,” he said. “It’s over 50 years old and there are some repairs that are much needed.

“Looking at the cost of repair versus the cost of the new water tower is within a couple hundred thousand dollars of each other. So we made the long-term decision to replace it. Now we will have that new infrastructure for decades to come.”

Wimer said existing cell phone equipment attached to the water tower might be temporarily compromised during replacement. The city has reached out to the provider, and at the time of the meeting, had not received a response.

The city’s new water line creates a loop, easing the flow of water throughout the city.

“Right now, within our water system, we essentially have dead ends at the Abbeyville area and Saba Lane area,” Wimer said. “By creating this loop, it will allow continuous circulation and flexibility.

“If there is a sudden need to cut off flow in either of those two areas, we will be able to back feed because we have that looped water line.”

Wimer said the change enhances the over all flow of the system, allowing the city to control the flow of water and receive easier access should an emergency arise.

Work for both locations will begin shortly, although a current timeline is unavailable. Wimer said both projects have a completion date of April 30, 2022.

“The citizens need to know that these are infrastructure projects that the staff has identified for a number of years as being necessary,” he said. “We are fortunate to be able to obtain funding to complete both of them.”