A 15-inch miscalculation could cost an ETX county $1.8 million - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

A 15-inch miscalculation could cost an ETX county $1.8 million

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TITUS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A serious mistake on an East Texas construction project means several more months of traffic delays. 

Construction on The Loop project in Mount Pleasant started in 2012.

The first segment is finished. Segments two and three are well on their way to being complete, but a recent discovery shows someone miscalculated the height requirement on one of the project's overpasses. 

The mistake could cost Titus County nearly $2 million. 

"It was a project with the state. If the county would build it they would reimburse us over a period of time," says Al Riddle, Titus County Commissioner, Pct. 1. 

Mount Pleasant residents say, until the project is finished, drivers and business owners in the area will suffer. 

"The road was supposed to be up and running for the businesses by December and now they're saying it's going to be August. That would be devastating to the local businesses if they can't open up down in that section," says Keith Kridler, a contractor in Titus County. 

Riddler says the delay is due to a small miscalculation with major consequences, "The steel beams over the track are not high enough. 15 inches I think they've got to raise it."

The property the bridge sits on belongs to the railroad company. 

"The property line goes up, I guess to heaven, I don't know how far it goes up, if you cross that property line you need a permit," Riddle says. 

A permit was issued. The problem is, that permit requires the overpass to be 15 inches higher and the price tag to fix it is hard for people to swallow. 

"My first reaction was when they told us it was going to cost $1.8 million to get it raised up," says Riddle. 

The county is paying for the fix so the project can be finished, otherwise the state wont start reimbursing them. 

"I'm sure with $1.8 million, someone will hire a lawyer. It will get ugly before it gets better," Kridler says. 

County Judge Brian Lee says the issue is bigger than people realize, "A lot of the opinions here in town are based on misinformation, a desire to point the finger at somebody who is at fault and it's really not as simple as it might seem."

He is confident when the project is finished no one will complain about this 15-inch problem. 

One side of the bridge is going to be torn down and raised so the beams above the railroad track become at least 15 inches higher. 

Officials expect the mistake to set workers back around five months. They want to have the project finished by next Fall. 

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