Hazardous construction conditions along Old San Antonio Road near Buda is forcing Hays County officials to temporarily close part of the thoroughfare.
Jennifer Scott, Hays County Pct. 2 administrative assistant, said officials closed Old San Antonio Road at Manchaca Springs Road to allow construction crews to install culverts as part of its project to improve the roadway.
Originally, the county had planned to keep at least one lane open on Old San Antonio Road during culvert excavation and installation. A high volume of traffic going southbound on the road, however, led to unsafe conditions for construction crews.
“Transportation and the contractor agreed to close the road to all but local traffic,” Scott said. Officials will allow access to homes along Old San Antonio Road, as well as to YMCA’s Camp Moody. The closure is expected to last until early April if weather permits, Scott said.
Work at the intersection is part of improvements along Old San Antonio Road to accommodate the opening of Buda Elementary in August 2019. Improvements include widening Old San Antonio road to within the current 60 ft. right-of-way, as well as adding a dedicated turn lane in front of the new Buda Elementary. Current construction costs are estimated at $1.5 million.
Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said Hays County will work on the road from Buda’s city limits to Manchaca Springs. County officials received assistance from Hays CISD, which will fund the installation water lines along the roadway to connect to the new campus.
Scott said work on Old San Antonio Road is expected to be completed by the start of the 2019 school year.
Meanwhile, Hays County officials are waiting for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to give environmental clearance prior to construction on FM 2001. The 8.4-mile project ranges from Interstate 35 to State Highway 21 at the county line.
Scott said TxDOT is handling both the bid process and construction of the improvements, which is broken down into three phases. The project calls for a total realignment of FM 2001 in order to reduce the number of 90-degree curves and to improve safety, Scott said.
Construction is expected to impact various intersections along FM 2001 including at Satterwhite Road, Hillside Terrace, south Turnersville Road and Old Goforth Road. However, Scott said traffic on most of the road is not expected to be impacted.
No official construction timeframe has been set.
Weather related delays, however, have pushed back completion of work on FM 1626 from RM 967 to FM 2770 to late summer or early fall 2019, Scott said.
Wet weather over the past several weeks has hindered completion of the projects.
Scott said the county and its construction contractor is working to get “back on track.”
“It’s been consistently wet, which causes for construction to be inconsistent,” Scott said.
Buda officials are moving forward on Old Goforth Road improvements, which are part of the city’s 2014 bond program.
Upgrades include changing the functionality of the road from a rural to an urban thoroughfare, said Buda City Engineer John Nett. That includes installation of curb and gutter, as well as building sidewalks.
Previous work done on the road had been pavement maintenance only, Nett said. Buda’s planned upgrades involve a full reconstruction of the road as well as enhancing safety measures such as new pavement markings and dedicated turn lanes.
“The road is in poor shape, so structurally, it’s going to be much safer than it is now,” Nett said.
Buda officials estimate work on Old Goforth to be completed by October 2019.