By Andy Sevilla
More than six miles of I-35 frontage road, from Kyle to San Marcos, is slated for improvement after the state awarded funds for the project in December.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is moving ahead with an overlay project on a portion of the southbound frontage road of Interstate 35 in Hays County after the Texas Transportation Commission awarded the road maintenance contract to Hunter Industries.
The proposed $1.55 million improvements will repair and repave the southbound frontage road between Old Highway 81 in Kyle and Loop 82 (Aquarena Springs Drive) in San Marcos.
The Texas Transportation Commission made the award at its December 18 meeting. The Hays County project was the lone award within the 11-county Austin District last month, which covers Bastrop, Blanco, Burnett, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson counties.
“Anytime we can make improvements to the highway system, especially on I-35, it’s a benefit to the residents who live there,” Kelly Reyna, TxDOT public information officer said in a telephone interview.
Reyna said the repaving and reparations to the roadway will make some considerable improvements for the area, ensuring drivers are safe while navigating along a frontage stretch of the busy highway.
According to the project’s detail on TxDOT’s website, the roadway’s 6.591-mile improvement design was completed in July and it received environmental clearance in August.
Thus far, just under $14,000 has been paid on the project for engineering costs, according to the detail. Project engineering is estimated at about $82,000. No other funds have been expended on the project as of the detail’s latest online update Dec. 2; although, the transportation commission awarded the road contract just two weeks after the latest online update.
The initial estimate for the project, with contingency included, was $1.94 million, the detail shows.
While no exact date of when the improvements will begin has been decided, Reyna said work could likely start in the spring when warmer temperatures surface, benefiting some of the materials’ composition used during the proposed road fixes.
The Texas Transportation Commission, which consists of five commissioners appointed by the governor, governs TxDOT. The commission is responsible for planning and making policies for the location, construction and maintenance of the state highways; overseeing the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the state highway system; developing a statewide transportation plan, awarding state highway system improvement contracts; encouraging and assisting in the development of public and mass transportation; and adopting rules for the operation of TxDOT.
The commission meets once a month, usually on the last Thursday of the month, in Austin.