The Lower Colorado River Authority has awarded a $174 million contract to Phillips & Jordan Inc. to construct the Lane City Reservoir in Wharton County.
The LCRA Board of Directors unanimously approved the contract at its Nov. 18 meeting.
The new 40,000 acre-foot off-channel reservoir could be refilled several times a year, adding up to 90,000 acre-feet of water to the region’s supply. It is expected to be operational by 2018.
"The Lane City Reservoir will be the first significant new water supply reservoir in the lower Colorado River basin since the Highland Lakes were built back in the 1930s and 1940s," said LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson. "The reservoir’s capacity will equal roughly the amount of water in lakes Lady Bird, Austin and Marble Falls combined. It will help meet our customers’ needs for generations to come, and we are committed to building it as quickly and cost-effectively as possible."
The Texas Water Development Board and LCRA are working together to issue $255 million in bonds to fund the project. In addition to covering the construction costs of the reservoir, the balance of the bond proceeds provide for the reservoir site acquisition, permitting, engineering and design, utility relocations, easements, and other related costs.
LCRA broke ground on the project in December 2014, constructing test embankments and preliminary site preparation work. In July 2015, LCRA solicited bids from general construction contractors. Phillips & Jordan won the contract based largely on its experience and ability to complete the project economically and on time.
"This reservoir will benefit users throughout the Colorado River basin," Wilson said. "By storing water downstream, we can get it to the customers that need it more quickly and more efficiently, which lessens the need to send water from the Highland Lakes to meet those needs. That’s a win-win."
The 1,100-acre Lane City Reservoir will be constructed off the main channel of the Colorado River, near Lane City, and will enable LCRA to capture and store significant amounts of water downstream of the Highland Lakes for the first time. The location also will enable LCRA to take advantage of the wetter climate in the lower basin and capture runoff from rain and available water in the river downstream of Lake Travis.
Phillips & Jordan is a national contractor licensed in all 50 states. The firm is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has regional and project offices throughout the United States, including Austin.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. The organization neither levies taxes nor receives tax money. For more information, visit www.lcra.org.
Source: LCRA Business News