By Moses Leos III
With a final public input meeting scheduled for February, Kyle and its consulting team are readying to present the final draft of its Transportation Master Plan (TMP) update.
Questions over funding proposed road improvements would be one of several topics, including drainage and wastewater, the city plans to address prior to council adopting the plan in March.
“From an engineering standpoint, I don’t know whether to cry, scream or both,” City Engineer Leon Barba said. “There are a lot of folks that don’t want to see these improvements … it’s going to keep growing and people need to move somewhere.”
The Kyle City Council on Jan. 5 was given a presentation from Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam (LAN) on the progress of the proposed TMP update.
David Manuel, project manager with LAN, said the process for the TMP update began in 2014. It involved collecting data from entities such as the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) to produce draft plans. In addition, LAN also collected data from stakeholders via two public meetings.
They compiled all of the information to come up with a ranking system that prioritized projects.
Reconstructing Bebee Lane from Interstate 35 to Highway 21 to a two-lane, divided highway with a center turn lane held highest priority.
Barba said while he wasn’t surprised that Bebee was at the top of the list, there were other roads that the city believed needed improvement.
Some of those roads include Dry Hole Road, which was damaged by floodwater on Oct. 30.
“We knew Bebee wasn’t in the greatest of shape, but it was decent,” Barba said.
In addition, Barba said there was concern on some of the recommendations on the plan about costs and needed changes.
One of those was the Kyle Parkway extension. In Kyle’s 2005 transportation master plan, the project was to tie the extension to Lehman Road. In the TMP proposal, the extension connects at the intersection of Dacy Lane and Kyle Parkway. Barba said that was “not on the plan any more.”
Widening Old Stagecoach Road was one project that could be too expensive, both in construction and right-of-way acquisition.
Funding the projects is one concern Barba had. Of the 96 projects identified, only ten were listed as the city’s responsibility, which totals over $288 million.
The entire list of projects under the proposed TMP is $2.035 billion.
During the Jan. 5 city council meeting, council member David Wilson said the city should “manage the connection” with Hays County and CAMPO to become regional partners in funding the projects.
“We should engage in conversation that would allow for CAMPO and the county to assist us in a financial way,” Wilson said. “It’s what level should our city council take with CAMPO and the county in making sure this plan isn’t just a pretty document.”
Other city priorities, such as drainage and wastewater improvements, will also be factored in the funding discussions.
“It’s how we are going to fund that,” Barba said. “We have issues with water and wastewater and all of the other things going on. How do we fund these things?”
Kyle’s top 3 projects in the proposed plan
1. Bebee Road from IH-35 to SH 21 – $57 million
Reconstruct to 2-lane divided with center turn lane/median
2. CR 158/Opal Lane from Old Stagecoach Rd. to SH 21 – $44 million
Reconstruct to 2-lane and 4-lane divided arterial
3. Goforth Road from Kyle Parkway to Brent Blvd. – $2.0 million