$1 million in drainage improvements coming to Raymondville

RAYMONDVILLE — Drainage improvements are on the way.

Earlier this week, city commissioners selected Harlingen contractor Clore Equipment, which presented a low bid of $1.03 million, to launch one of the city’s biggest drainage projects in years.

Commissioners based the selection on the recommendation of Ambiotec Group, the engineering firm that reviewed qualifications from six contractors whose bids ranged from $1.03 million to $1.9 million.

Engineer Vicente Mendez said Clore has experience in drainage projects.

“Apparently, he’s got all the qualifications the engineer asked for,” Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said Wednesday.

The project will be funded through a $992,850 Texas General Land Office grant awarded in response to the wide-spread flooding during October 2015 storms.

Mendez said the contractor will install wider storm sewer pipes in one of the city’s lowest-lying neighborhood areas.

For decades, 12 to 18 inch-pipes have run from Fifth to 11th Street to the area’s drainage canal.

As part of the project, the contractor will replace the old pipe with 41-inch-wide storm sewer sections along 3,489 feet from the intersection of Fifth and Main Streets across Raymond, Durham and Yturria streets to the 11th Street drainage canal.

“They’re probably clogged,” Mendez said. “It’s time to do something about it. They’ve been there for a long time, probably part of the original town site, probably since the streets were constructed.”

At City Hall, City Manager Eleazar Garcia said officials selected the area as one of the most heavily populated flood-prone areas.

“We identified that area as the section of town that holds a lot of water,” Garcia said. “This is a big residential area. It’s all housing.”

Garcia said the project will also curb flooding in surrounding areas.

“This will lessen flooding in the adjacent areas as well,” he said. “You’re going to see a significant improvement in that area.”

Mendez said he plans to launch the seven-month project in June.

City Commissioner Edward Gonzales said officials are counting on launching more drainage projects.

“We will push very hard to continue to improve infrastructure,” he said. “The city of Raymondville will continue to look for grants to improve infrastructure including and specifically because it’s a problem, drainage.”

In October 2015, storms led to some of the area’s worst flooding in 50 years.

“It’s no secret that Raymondville often gets shut down due to heavy thunderstorms,” Edward Gonzales said. “There are a lot of drainage issues. We want to make sure our citizens are protected. Our focus is to alleviate drainage issues in areas around town.”