Trout Street construction unearths relics from past
Island Construction workers have found a large amount of debris as they have torn apart the street and excavated a hole the length of the roadway to replace old water and sewer lines.
The debris has included decades-old glass bottles, including unbroken milk bottles that probably date back at least to the 1950s, according to Rick Pratt, director of the Port Aransas Museum.
Workers have found liquor bottles and at least one oldtimey looking hair oil bottle – Fitch Hair Oil, according to the cursive writing embossed in the bottle glass.
The discoveries are not surprising, Pratt said. Trout Street lies in one of the oldest parts of town, an area that long has been home to clusters of restaurants and bars.
“This is like finding two pages out of the middle of a story,” Pratt said. “There’s a story here, but we don’t know it all.”
Construction workers have set aside many of the old bottles and other objects they’ve found. Pratt said he would ask the workers to allow the museum to take custody of some of the relics, at least temporarily, to clean them up and try to learn more about them, such as their age.
Workers also have run across a lot of rotten wood, like railroad ties. They have hauled truckloads of the wood away for disposal in a landfill, according to Rick Snyder of Island Construction.
Pratt said no railroad ever ran through that part of town, but people may have used the ties in other kinds of construction.
In addition, workers have dug up a collection of roughly rectangular concrete blocks about two feet by one foot by one foot in size. Snyder said they look like they once were part of a long-gone building’s foundation.
The project means ripping out all of the old asphalt on Trout Street from Cotter Avenue to a point just beyond the entrance to a parking lot next to Shorty’s Place. Much of it will be replaced by a concrete road, and some of it will get new asphalt.
The road never has had underground drainage before, but it will have it after the project is finished.
It’s a $251,026 project, with $139,358 in city bond money paying for the street work portion. The money comes from $4.9 million in bonds approved by Port Aransas voters in 2008. The money has paid for street work all over town.
The Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District is doing $ 121,667 worth of water and sewer improvements.
Deputy City Manager Dave Parsons estimated that the project will continue for another two months.
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