Nueces County may have a new role for its latest partnership with the town of Bishop; middleman.

A wooden bridge in Bishop has been closed for the past few months due to being declared structurally inadequate by the Texas Department of Transportation. It is located on County Road 77, near the Bishop Municipal Airport.

Nueces County Commissioners last week approved an interlocal agreement with the Bishop Driscoll Drainage District No. 3 to seek assistance from the TxDOT's bridge replacement program, which would cover about 90 percent of the cost of construction.

However, the program is only available through counties, which is why the county will be acting as a sponsor to the project for the drainage district.

All of the estimated $39,566 of the proposed project, after TxDOT pays its 90 percent, would be paid by the county and reimbursed by the drainage district, said Nueces County Public Works Director Glen Sullivan.

In essence, the county would be acting like a middleman for the project, he added.

However, the project isn't scheduled to begin construction anytime soon, due to additional negotiations and work that must be done with TxDOT, assuming the bridge is selected for the program, Sullivan said.

"The best case scenario would take one year before construction could begin, and that's on the fast-track," he said.

The county may find out in April whether or not the project has been approved for the bridge replacement program, county officials said.