Overpass hits snag

Mayor Debra McCartt
Mayor Debra McCartt

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - The proposed overpass over the 3rd and Grand Street intersection has hit a significant snag.

Apparently the problem lies in the stipulations put on stimulus funding.  Up to last week when three overpass options were presented to the public, both TX-DOT and the City were unaware that certain costs, including engineering funds, could not be used with stimulus funds.  That means all three options (plus a fourth just created, Option 3A) will cost more than expected.

Mayor Debra McCartt says, "You know, the stimulus funding is such a new animal for all of us. We're all working through this. The rules are there. We don't know exactly what they are and as we work on a project we're coming back with new information that we're not anticipating."

TX-DOT officials say they only grew aware of the specific stimulus limitation this week when putting together costs for several projects.  They say they'll consult with the city about design and expect to return to the Commission with something more definite in terms of cost in three weeks.

Also, they'll meet August 18th with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality in Austin.