CenterPoint to work with Road and Bridge on future projects

By: NICOLE SHUPE, Examiner Staff Reporter

CenterPoint Energy will be working with Grimes County Road and Bridge during the construction of the Brazos Valley Connection to maintain the current quality of the county’s roads.

“With heavy construction comes heavy road traffic and citizens throughout the county have been concerned about recent projects and the tolls they have taken on the county’s roads,” said Grimes County Commissioner David Dobyanski.

The Brazos Valley Connection is a 345 kV electric transmission line that will run from Harris County to Grimes County. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas determined there was a need for a transmission line connecting the Zenith Substation in Harris County to the Limestone Substation in Limestone County. The project is aimed to “improve the capacity of the Texas electric grid and strengthen regional transmission capabilities.”

“Let me begin by saying that the Brazos Valley Connection will be CenterPoint Energy’s first project in Grimes County in many years, so I can’t speak what may have occurred in the past,” said Leticia Lowe of CenterPoint Corporate Communications. “We are committed to collaborating and coordinating with the Grimes County Road and Bridge Administration. We will pre-inspect the roads and bridges and commit to making necessary repairs due to damage caused by our project. We are also making every effort to utilize local business where we can.”

According to both Dobyanski and CenterPoint representatives, the project is scheduled to be completed and in service by the summer of 2018. Work has already begun along the route for portions of the preconstruction phase and construction should begin in January 2017.

“We have started replacing original gates, culverts and other pre-existing infrastructure along CenterPoint Energy’s existing 180-foot easement in preparation for construction of the Brazos Valley Connection,” said Lowe. “Plans also include having two lay-down yards in Grimes County where equipment, materials and resources for manpower can be staged.”

Dobyanski relayed that he believed the two lay-down yards would be along FM 2445 and FM 1774. The materials within these yards would add to the county coffers through sales tax dividends.

“During the construction phase of the Brazos Valley Connection, Texas sales tax will apply to eligible materials and equipment that will be purchased and used in the project that are considered to be real property improvements,” said Lowe. “Under current Texas sales tax rules, local sales tax for the county/city will apply to these same items in the taxing jurisdictions that the items are destined for (or shipped to) and CenterPoint Energy will remit this portion of the tax to the Texas Comptroller on its monthly sales tax return.”

CenterPoint Energy representatives said that they will “work as closely with land owners and county officials as possible to leave the land as we found it.”

For more information on the Brazos Valley Connection Project, please call 832-773-6185.

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