A study looking to improve connectivity from Buda to Austin was approved for state and federal funding by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) earlier this month.
The project, which is part of the city of Buda’s development plan, is a corridor and connectivity analysis to make a plan to better bridge Buda with south Austin. Two proposed connectors, the Garlic Creek Parkway and the Garison Road Connector, could enhance local and regional mobility and also offer transportation alternatives in an effort to address the growing population and traffic coming in and out of Buda.
Due to the growth the county has had in recent years, the connectors are seen as necessary to accommodate rising traffic numbers on I-35 and FM 1626, which are the main routes in and out of Buda.
“Between April 2010 and July 2016 the population of Buda increased 104.6 percent, making it the fastest growing city in Hays County, which remains one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S.,” according to Buda’s CAMPO application documents.
The Garlic Creek Parkway will be a north-south connector and potentially extend from FM 967 to the future build-out of State Highway 45 Southwest, which is a four-lane toll road that will bridge MoPac in Austin to FM 1626 at the Hays and Travis County line.
The Garison Road Connector will be an east-west connector and potentially extend from FM 967 to provide access to Garison Road.
Both connectors would be built in undeveloped area east of the Coves of Cimarron subdivision, located along FM 967.
“One of the primary goals of the CAMPO planning study is to define projects with regional benefits. So this doesn’t just benefit Buda,” City Engineer John Nett said. “The project’s intention is to relieve local traffic off of (FM) 1626 and (Interstate) 35.”
According to CAMPO documents, funding for the study will become available in 2021; however, Nett says CAMPO has the flexibility to move the project up if they see fit.
The study would define what type of roads would be the most beneficial, although Nett says it will probably be a minor arterial roadway.
The total cost of the study is $350,000 and CAMPO has approved the funding request of $280,000. The city of Buda will be contributing the rest of the funds to complete the study.
No timeline has been set for possible construction of the two parkway projects.