Bridge City sets new pace with 2022 projects
From the Desk of Mayor David Rutledge
Last updated 1/4/2022 at 4:11pm
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for 2022 to get here and 2021 to finally leave. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, '21 was like déjà vu all over again from 2020. Covid-19 didn't seem to let go of us like we thought it would. However, it looks like we're starting to see a little light at the end of the tunnel, if only these variants would just go away.
With that in mind, I think I'd rather look at what's ahead of us this year rather than looking back at where we've been. In the City, we're all getting excited about what is coming our way in '22. There are projects that will benefit and enhance our city, and there will be a few new faces around City Hall in the coming year.
For projects coming, a really large and impactful one is on FM 1442 from FM 408 to FM 105 that is slated to begin this spring. TxDOT has awarded a contract to widen that stretch of highway and add a center turn lane the full length of it. Once completed, it should help with the traffic flow and more importantly, driving safety for residents and travelers along that route. It will be a little inconvenient for a while, but we'll all appreciate it when finished.
We're also continuing with projects to bring additional water well capacity to our current City water system. We've been able to get some grant funding secured to make these necessary projects move ahead. Not all of these projects will be completed in the coming year, but they should be well underway and moving us forward. These and other projects that are either "on the books" or starting this year will have us poised for making 2022 a positive year for Bridge City.
One new face you'll be seeing around town and at City Hall will be the new City Manager that we hope to hire within the next month or so. City Council is in the middle of the process to select that person now. We'll introduce that person as soon as the hiring process is complete.
As most of you know by now, our current City Manager, Jerry Jones, is retiring on Friday, January 14th after working for the City for 20+ years. He has helped guide us through Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Harvey, Laura, and every one in between. When not working on rebuilding after a disaster, he has led us through everything from our daily operations to long-range planning. His expertise in public works, flood plain management, community development, project management, personnel management, budgeting and finance, emergency management, and economic development have been an invaluable asset to the City and our citizens.
Everyone at City Hall and on the Council wish Jerry nothing but the best for him in retirement. I will personally miss visiting with him around "the office" from time to time. He has a depth of knowledge about Bridge City, how a city works, the personnel and facilities of the city, the people who work here, and those who call this city home. His understanding of what the city needs, how to address current issues and long-range solutions, and all those other things that go into to making an outstanding City Manager will be missed by everyone.
When Jerry announced his retirement, I joked that I was glad because now we would have more time to go golfing, fishing and hunting together. In truth, it was bittersweet. Yes, we can now go golfing, fishing and hunting together more, that part is true. What I didn't say is that I will miss having him around every day to keep me in line, bounce ideas off him, ask him too many questions, and solicit his opinion on just about any subject. Now that I think about it, it could be he's really leaving because he's tired of riding herd on me. Whatever the reason, I just want to say congratulations, my friend, on a well-deserved retirement.
Here's to a new year, new prospects, and new faces for Bridge City in 2022.