TxDOT not responsible for entry into Mill Creek
The low water crossing across Salado Creek by Sherrill Park is not a bridge according to their Chief Engineer, Bobby Littlefield, in a January 8, 2016 email:
I found out that the low water bridge in Salado that you and I discussed yesterday is not in our bridge inventory. This means it does not meet the federal definition of a bridge and is therefore not included in the federal bridge replacement/rehabilitation program. TxDOT does not own this structure nor do we have any jurisdiction here since this road is off of the state system.”
Simply put, the State will not maintain, repair, or replace it. Likewise, they will not remove the gravel, dirt, grass, and weeds choking it. I have gone so far as to write Governor Abbott for assistance with “no reply.”
For years, this low water crossing has been collecting gravel, and growing grass and weeds. As a result, water is restricted from flowing through its main arteries and gravel, by summer, will begin covering the bridge and adding structure pressure. Additionally, animals drown from getting caught in the grass and weeds, and insects and snakes find it a breeding habitat. Cleaning the waterway and removing the gravel now will keep the creek healthy, safe, and will prevent some flooding.
To meet environmental restrictions, Mill Creek Association acquired a permit. Removing the gravel and weeds requires special, large wheeled equipment that does not leak oil or gas. Likewise, debris cannot touch the ground, must go directly into a dump truck, and dumped away from the creek. The expense is significant – between $10,000-$18,000.
Will you help with this project? Your contribution, whatever it may be, will keep Salado beautiful, and a place of enjoyment for our friends and neighbors to visit. For a tax deduction, please send it to Keep Salado Beautiful, P.O. Box 895, Salado, Texas with checks made to Salado Community Foundation. A “thank you” will be placed in the Salado Village Voice, the Village Website, and the Salado Mayor Blog.
Thank you to those who have contributed. You are assured that every donation received will go toward the low water crossing.