This article originally ran in the Jan. 28 issue of Progress Times.
The work on Mission’s seven major drainage projects has been underway since summer 2021, and things are running smoothly so far, according to B2Z Engineering Project Manager Jesse Ozuna. The city employed B2Z to oversee all seven projects, ensuring quality work from the seven engineering companies hired for each project.
All seven operations are in the vicinity of Stewart, Inspiration and Glasscock roads. Mission city council decided to hire different engineering companies for each drainage project based on each firm’s area of expertise. The engineers have been working behind the scenes to obtain reports and draw up the plans before the hiring process for construction companies can begin.
“We did give them some pretty aggressive deadlines, per the city’s request,” Ozuna said during his presentation at the Jan. 24 council meeting. “We know that y’all wanted designs within six months of hiring the firms.”
The engineers have had a series of deadlines to meet, leading up to the final March 31 deadline, when all reports and designs must be completed and turned in. Ozuna the plan is to have the final specs by April 1 so the city can advertise projects and procure services of construction. The only firm that has not met the deadlines is Rick Hinojosa Engineering — the group working on Project Leandro between FM 495 and Mile 2.
Mayor Armando O’Caña said the delay is due to Hinojosa Engineering’s staff being sick with COVID-19. But the council members were very vocal about B2Z getting the firm on track.
“We don’t have much time to be wasting. So, to me, if they don’t meet the deadline for the 31st, we need to give a directive to our staff to find somebody else,” Ruben Plata said, referring to the upcoming Jan. 31 deadline. “This is people’s homes that we are dealing with, and to me, it’s very important. Nobody would want to have water in their homes. I don’t know how the rest of the council feels, but I would not want to extend the deadline at all.”
City Manager Randy Perez said the firm committed to submitting their reports by Jan. 28, and if they don’t, Perez will meet with them to discuss their future on the project.
Despite the delay with Project Leandro, Ozuna said he is confident with the operations moving forward based on the feedback from the firms throughout the process.
“Everybody has been very responsive,” he said. “Y’all picked a good team to do it. We won’t do a design for them, but everybody is pretty much pulling their own weight at this time.”
The seven major drainage projects and their estimated costs are as follows:
- Project Stewart A – $2.32 million
- Project Gabriel – $2 million
- Project Glasscock – $2.43 million
- Project Esperanza – $5.74 million
- Project Leandro – $1.66 million
- Project Elm – $1.33 million
- Project Tulip – $1.68 million