29th Street project stalled due to dispute over utility lines in Bryan

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - There's a battle brewing in Bryan over the city's right-of-way and companies that have their lines in that area, and this week the Bryan City Council had the dispute on their agenda in executive session.

Even though it's a work zone -- work on 29th Street next to CHI St. Joseph Hospital has come to a halt because some utility lines haven't been moved and several utility poles stick out where a new turn lane was just built.

Dr. Mark Lindsay, whose office is right across the street, has a front row seat to the lack of progress.

"I don't know a lot of details other than there's some long coils of wire hanging from the utility poles out there," said Lindsay, an ophthalmologist. "They're just hanging there and I guess that's part of the confrontation."

Bryan City Engineer Paul Kaspar says two communication companies are adding to the delays.

"Suddenlink has started their process and Frontier originally had asked the City of Bryan to pay for their relocation costs into the city provided conduit system under ground," Kaspar said.

"So we paid for the conduit costs and they were asking us to pay for the efforts for them to relocate their wires and cables and we've never done that for other projects,"added Kasper.

Kasper says Frontier wanted more than $240,000 to have the lines relocated.

"It was a new thing for us and we’ve been having discussions back and forth and our legal folks have been involved and I think we should be coming to an agreement here, very quickly," he said.

The city says they're 95 percent finished with the project and are just waiting for the utility lines to be moved.

"I'm going to let them work it out, however, they work it out," said Lindsay.

The dispute could also impact road work on South College Avenue. It's currently under construction with plans to bury utilities there.

"The good news there, is that we’re still installing those conduits for the private utilities to relocate into. We’re anticipating being done with that installation at the end of November," Kaspar said.

"So hopefully with us resolving this on both projects they will be able to start their relocation efforts as soon as our conduits are complete."

Frontier Communications sent News 3 a statement saying:

"We are continuing to have discussions with the city on this issue and understand a quick resolution would be beneficial to all. We are dedicated to finding a fair and equitable solution."

Altice USA/ Suddenlink also told us in a statement:

"We have been actively working in close coordination with the City of Bryan on this extensive project to reroute our cables to accommodate the roadwork and look forward to bringing this initiative to completion."

City officials say once those lines are buried work on 29th Street could take another month to finish.