Local residents can now take part in a virtual Town Hall regarding long-range planning along the State Highway 21 corridor, which connects portions of eastern Hays County with Caldwell County. The roadway is also a major thoroughfare between San Marcos and Bastrop. The virtual town hall runs through May 31.
Hays County, in cooperation with Caldwell County, is gathering public input about improvements and right-of-way preservation along SH 21 from State Highway 80 to State Highway 130. The state highway, also known as Camino Real because it follows roughly along the old Spanish “Kings Road,” connects some of the fastest growing communities in all of Texas, and now SH 21 – on the eastern border of Hays County – is being studied to make it easier and safer to travel.
This long-term corridor preservation study – funded by bond money approved by Hays County voters in 2016 – aims to gather feedback on highway improvements that are necessary due to the rapid growth the region has already seen, and the anticipated growth the county expects will continue.
The study will focus on one of the critical sections of the road, an approximately 17-mile stretch of the highway between its intersection with SH 80 in San Marcos and the Hays County line near U.S. 183 at the Travis County line, close to the village of Niederwald. Hays County is cooperating with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other local governments on the project.
The virtual town hall consists of welcome videos by Hays County Commissioners Mark Jones, Pct. 2, and Debbie Ingalsbe, Pct. 1, along with exhibits, maps and an opportunity for the public to provide input.
“The rapid growth in our region and the expected growth along the SH 21 necessitates us to work with our partners in Caldwell County to make roadway safety improvements,” Jones said. “We also want to protect the character and historic elements of the area.”
Jones tells viewers in the welcome video that State Highway 21 has been used for centuries and he wants to hear from residents, business owners and other stakeholders about how to move forward while honoring its importance in the region’s history.
The virtual town hall website offers those who wish to submit feedback an opportunity to be heard. Ingalsbe said the process was designed to be easy to use and not time-consuming.
“Just a few minutes can help us determine the future of SH 21 and your community,” she said. “We want to hear from everyone who has an interest in the roadway improvements.”
The virtual town hall can be found online at: sh21corridor.com.
For those without internet access, information on the study and possible roadway improvements can be obtained by texting the word INFO (in all caps) to 833-541-0677.