Almost $70 million in state and federal funds were allocated toward various transportation projects in Hays County Monday.
The move was the result of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) board approving a $400 million package for regional road projects across Central Texas.
CAMPO serves in Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties to equally distribute federal and state dollars to fund transportation systems. On Monday, the board approved the projects to be funded for the 2019- 2022 time period.
All told, Hays County entities received about 17 percent of the overall funding awarded by CAMPO.
Hays County itself was approved for funding for a new roundabout and turn lanes on RM 3237 from RM 150 to RM 12, along with upgrading FM 2001 near Buda to four lanes with new traffic signals and pedestrian features.
RM 967 between FM 1626 and Oak Forest Drive near Buda will be widened to install a center turn lane.
Kyle also received the green light for money to move forward with a long-awaited rail siding relocation project, which is expected to ease congestion in downtown.
When trains are stopped across Center Street in Kyle, it creates a traffic jam heading into and leaving the area and effectively blocks off the entire downtown, Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said.
The location of the rail siding also creates a significant safety issue for first responders responding to calls across the nearby Interstate 35. When trains stop across Center Street, first responders must take longer alternate routes to get across the tracks, which can increase critical response times.
“It was a problem when we had 2,000 people,” Mitchell said in March. “Now we are approaching 50,000, with entitlements to reach 100,000 people over the next 20 years. It’s becoming quite severe.”
CAMPO also approved a hike and bike path trail along Overpass Road into downtown Buda, as well as a project to install dedicated turn and through lanes at FM 967 and Main Street.
The city of Buda also had a study approved that would improve the intersection at FM 1626 and RM 967, as well as a study on the proposed Garlic Creek Parkway Corridor. The proposed thoroughfare is expected to link the high-growth areas of Buda and South Austin together by connecting FM 1626 and State Highway 45 to Interstate 35.