Kyle roundabout surpasses $1M estimate

High costs associated with a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Spring Branch Drive and Burleson Street fueled resident worries about the project, which could now carry a $1 million price tag. 

The latest chapter of the saga came April 16 as citizens took to public comment to express their concerns with the proposal.

The concept of the roundabout was introduced by city council member Rick Koch, who originally presented the idea April 2 as a solution to increased traffic at the intersection. The estimated price tag for the project at the time was $500,000. City leaders envisioned placing the item as a discussion point during Fiscal Year 2020-21 talks.

However, residents balked at the high cost of the project during public comment. Several city leaders felt the pinch of the price tag as well.

Those worries were exacerbated after city staff reviewed the original plan and presented an updated $1 million estimate for the traffic control project.

Leon Barba, Kyle City Engineer, said construction and labor costs for the roundabout would be more than $800,000. Adding in land acquisition, which would be required as the city would have to have residents agree to sell part of their property, the price for the project would hover near the $1 million mark.

“Although this was a creative way of trying to affect traffic control, we need to be able to scale in,” said Council Member Alex Villalobos. “I think this is not the appropriate time to discuss that type of development … it’s not the right time for the city to take this on.”

Other, less costly options are up for discussion as well.

Addition of a traffic signal is estimated to cost more than $100,000, said city council member Daphne Tenorio, who confirmed with Barba that over time, the total cost would increase for mandatory maintenance. Every 20 to 25 years, the traffic signal would need routine maintenance.

Costs for installation of a three-way stop at the intersection has not been given to city leaders at this time. Kyle city staff said April 16 they were not prepared to discuss their findings at that time, but will conduct additional research for city leaders.

However, residents and city officials alike felt something must be done at the intersection to control future traffic congestion and safety issues.

“There were comments asking what is wrong with a three-way stop and there’s nothing, except that it is going to do what is says and make you stop,” Koch said. “We’re looking for traffic flow.”

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