Changes could be forthcoming to FM 2001 after Hays County officials gathered public input on a proposed $35 million widening and realignment of the roadway.
A few residents spoke at a public hearing March 28 in support of the proposed widening and realignment of FM 2001 from Interstate 35 to State Highway 21.
While approximately 30 residents attended the public hearing, only three spoke about the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) project.
TxDOT’s proposed 8.5-mile project would connect I-35 to SH 21 and eliminate 90-degree turns on FM 2001. The project is intended to improve safety and mobility, as well as improve travel times for emergency vehicles and commuters.
Residents supported the project, but also expressed concerns about a segment where FM 2001 intersects SH 21.
“I think the plan looks great,” said John McCormick, who lives along SH 21. “I’m concerned about only one thing.”
McCormick said several drivers crash through his fence every year because people drive too fast on SH 21.
McCormick said TxDOT should consider building an intersection that doesn’t utilize stop signs, such as an overpass.
Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones said he is looking forward to the project’s completion, as FM 2001 has been a dangerous road his entire life.
“I’ve lived here for over 50 years and with the amount of growth that we’ve experienced, Hays County has been named the fastest growing county in the United States with a population of over 500,000,” Jones said. “I think anyone in Buda and Kyle doesn’t have any trouble believing that.”
With the rapid growth of Hays County, FM 2001 has become more dangerous, Jones said.
“We think these improvements are going to be a huge safety improvement,” Jones said. “The benefits should hopefully outweigh any of the negative aspects of this project.”
The project includes urban designs, which are located at each end of the project from I-35 to Hillside Terrace and from Graef Road to SH 21. It also includes suburban design, which is from Hillside Terrace to Graef Road.
The urban sections would consist of two 12-foot lanes in each directors, a 16-foot raised median, five-foot bike lanes and a six-foot sidewalk.
The suburban section would consist of two 12-foot lanes, a 10-foot outside shoulder in each direction, a 16-foot center two-way left-turn lane and an allowance for future five-foot sidewalks.
The proposed project would require 114 acres of additional right-of-way, five acres of temporary easements, and just over 4.5 acres of permanent easements.
The estimated project cost is $35.5 million. The project would be constructed in phases as funds are made available.
Monique Boitnott, Niederwald city councilmember, said she feels the proposed project will improve driver safety.
“We’re very excited about it,” Boitnott said. “We do feel it’s going to bring safety to our citizens who are driving home on FM 2001.”