A loop around Vidor? It's one of the most talked about highway projects in Vidor.
The project would involve building a loop around the east side of the city. It would stretch from the north of the Vidor to south of the railroad tracks.
The proposed Vidor Loop, or FM 299, is in its very beginning stages. No money has been identified for the project and environmental issues still need to be dealt with. The Army Corps of Engineers as well as other federal and state resource agencies still need to give the green light for the project to even get underway.
Then there is the issue of how to pay for the $39 million project.
No money has been identified. That’s where Pass-through financing comes in. Pass-through financing is a rather new, yet simple process to get projects funded.
Simply put, Orange County would front the money for the entire project including developing the plans, buying the needed right of way, and adjusting utilities. The county would then begin construction. Once completed, TxDOT would reimburse the county at a negotiated rate and timeframe for only the cost of construction when the roadway is open to traffic.
The commission recently gave the district the authority to begin the process of those negotiations. TxDOT will begin meeting with county officials to discuss the cost, design and other important factors to get the project from raw land to a new highway. This doesn’t mean any money has been set aside, or, has even been identified. The commission’s approval simply means TxDOT and the county can start discussing and negotiating the fine lines of the contract.
When can construction begin? It depends on several factors: whether the County will provide the funding for the project, if TxDOT and the county can negotiate a contract that satisfies all parties, and if the state and federal resource agencies give the environmental approval.