County to the rescue: Agreement would put new life into Bunton Creek Road

Improvements to Bunton Creek Road were expected to cost $4.4 million, according to the proposed road bond package that council deliberated. The improvements would have taken place from the IH-35 frontage road to about 1,200 feet east of Dacy Lane. (Photo by Andy Sevilla)

by ANDY SEVILLA

Bunton Creek Road will be getting a new life after Hays County steps in to offer Kyle help with the upkeep of this “very dangerous” road the city has failed to maintain.

In an effort to alleviate and abate, if even just temporarily, the danger drivers face as they wheel through Bunton Creek Road, the Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously approved Tuesday an interlocal agreement that would allow the county to move in and make some band-aid fixes to the street.

“I have been in discussions with both the city manager and council members regarding repairs to Bunton Creek Road,” said Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe. “There is a very large volume of traffic on that roadway and we know that it has become very dangerous and is in need of major repairs.”

The interlocal agreement states that the county will provide the labor and equipment necessary to make the temporary repairs, while the city will cover the costs of the materials. The agreement caps the city’s expenses at $20,000, but Ingalsbe said County Engineer Jerry Borcherding has projected materials to cost about $12,000.

Ingalsbe said the court was not provided with a total cost of what the county will expend on the project, but she said Borcherding told commissioners it would be about two weeks worth of labor and equipment to complete the project.

“With this agreement, we really want to do some meaningful repairs in the interim, until the city determines if they will ask their voters to consider a bond election for the complete reconstruction of Bunton Creek Road,” Ingalsbe said.

Council members failed to get a road bond election to the voters this November that would have addressed reconstructing Bunton Creek Road. However, some city councilmembers are still interested in producing a road bond package for the city’s May 2013 municipal election.

“I think one of the largest issues, if not the largest issue, that we’ve had to confront as a city is our infrastructure needs,” Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson said after a proposed road bond election failed to get enough support from council in August. “We have been growing too fast, population-wise, to keep up with our road infrastructure. The result is what every driver, every commuter in Kyle can see; we have horrible roads – Burleson, Bunton, Goforth, Lehman – and horrible connectivity.”

Improvements to Bunton Creek Road were expected to cost $4.4 million, according to the proposed road bond package that council deliberated. The improvements would have taken place from the IH-35 frontage road to about 1,200 feet east of Dacy Lane.

Ingalsbe said Bunton Creek Road is a street that both the city and county have had their eye on, “knowing that it has been in need of repair for quite some time.” She said the reconstruction of Dacy Lane, coupled with the traffic caused by Lehman High School, only makes the need for repairs more evident.

“Anything that we can do to help the city of Kyle make those repairs, to make (Bunton Creek Road) a much better and safer roadway, the county is willing to do that,” she said.

Kyle councilmembers will take up the interlocal agreement with Hays County at their Nov. 6 regular meeting.

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