City Officials Consider Conversion of Problematic Ditch

by Tony Vindell/LFN

This ditch will be underground once the project gets implemented in the near future. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

Covering a ditch that runs from Texas Highway 100 to Bayview is a project city and a water entity staff have been discussing for some time but it’s getting closer to becoming a reality.

The canal is owned by the Bayview Irrigation District Number 1 and is 7 miles long.

Because of the distance, an ideal plan is to cover up the ditch and build a bicycle and walking trail.

However, the cost of such a project could run into the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

But in the meantime, a short solution is to take care of a mile long stretch from around O’Reilly’s Auto Parts to north of the city towards FM 1847.

The ditch has been a touchy subject, particularly during floods, such as last June’s downpour, when rising water tends to spill over its banks, causing a bigger mess to city streets and homes nearby.

Some local residents put the blame on the irrigation district, saying they do not maintain it.

However, the amount of debris such as tires, ice chests and discarded construction materials found there did not come from the district but from the residents themselves.

During the last city council meeting held Jan. 8, the ditch was discussed in a public forum.

City, water district and several residents aired their concerns about the waterway.

City Manager Mark Milum said he has been talking with water district officials on how to fix the problem.

He said having an underground canal would be beneficial for both the city and the irrigation district.

Ernesto Martinez, a board member with the irrigation district, said they support the idea to cover up the ditch.

“This is a major undertaking,” he said. “The cost to have underground canals is not financially feasible for us at this point.”

The two parties agreed to work on the project in phases. Extending the ditch from Highway 100 to Paredes Line Road is a step in the right direction.

During the meeting, the council approved an interlocal agreement with the irrigation district and the two entities will work together on the project.

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