County approves Casa Piedra road reroute, donation
May 18th, 2017 under Top Stories
By NICK WINCHESTER
CASA PIEDRA – Presidio County accepted a donation from Donnell Lands for a rerouted section of FM 169, Casa Piedra Road, 42 miles south of Marfa, during Commissioners’ Court last week.
The new road segment will be 6,804 feet in length, will shorten the current section by approximately 2 miles, and will be flatter than the existing road’s steep, hilly sections.
Casa Piedra Road begins approximately 7.5 miles south of Marfa, off U.S. 67, and leads to the old ranching community of Plata, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and to FM 170, the River Road, near Redford. The roadway is a paved state road for approximately 16 miles. When the blacktop ends just after crossing Alamito Creek, the road comes under county jurisdiction.
The estimated value of the donation is $240,000. Donnell Lands, which owns La Mota Ranch, upon which the new road will sit, will fund the construction, which will be built in accordance with Texas Department of Transportation county road standards. According to Donnell Lands Agent Tommy Saunders, work on the road is due to begin in 30-45 days and will take a further 30 days to complete.
Once construction is complete, the County’s Manager of Capital Projects, Ruben Carrasco, must approve the road before the right of way can be handed over to the County. The County will then take responsibility for the maintenance of the new road.
In the deal, Donnell Lands will take ownership of the old section of road, which runs through the La Mota Ranch. Tommy Saunders told the court that Donnell Lands will maintain the old road so it will remain available in emergencies.
An Alpine based contractor will build the road and install the galvanized metal culverts.
During court, Commissioner Loretto Vasquez raised his concerns about potential flooding and water runoff from the road. Carrasco assured the court that larger culverts have been agreed upon and will be sufficient. Carrasco added that the County will have a better deal following the donation.
Commissioner Eloy Aranda moved to accept the donation. Commissioner Loretto Vasquez seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
After the court, County Attorney Rod Ponton told the Big Bend Sentinel and Presidio International that the deal is better for both the County and the public, coming at no cost to the county, while the reduced distance of the new will lessen the maintenance bill for the County.