By Sahar Chmais
Time is a currency and what better way to save time than through faster routes within a fast-growing city in the fastest-growing county in the country.
Soon, residents will be able to make one straight shot from FM 1626 onto RM 967 and I-35 through a connector road being built from Robert S. Light Boulevard in Buda. The two-mile $17.7 million project broke ground on Wednesday, Oct. 27 and completion is slated for early 2024.
The RM 967/Robert S.Light Boulevard extension project is through a partnership between Hays County and TxDOT.
This road project will construct a travel lane in each direction from RM 967 to FM 1626, create an overpass at the Union Pacific Railroad, build an overpass at the Mustang Branch of Onion Creek and Centex Materials haul road and add turn lanes on the RM 967 and FM 2770, to-and-from the Robert S. Light Boulevard extension.
“You can tell by the number of vehicles and trucks on this road that this is going to be a highly used roadway,” Tucker Ferguson, TxDOT Austin district engineer, said as he addressed the crowd at the groundbreaking. “This will provide a safe and efficient route to move many of these vehicles from the downtown area of Buda and make it more safe for those residents and travelers as well as the ones on this road.”
Not only does this road reduce travel time, but it gets industry vehicles and suppliers where they need to be in a more efficient manner, Ferguson added.
The four-lane road will take 75% of traffic that runs through RM 967 off that highway, Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said.
Growth is another key feature of the road.
Plans for the project have been in the works for eight years, according to Jones, and once this road is built the progress will not stop. At some point in the future, residents will be able to go from FM 1626 all the way to FM 2001 to SH 21, Jones explained.
Corner properties will come about when these roads are built, bringing more commercial real estate development, said Buda Mayor Lee Urbanovsky.
“The East-West connecture that this road is going to do for us is paramount,” Urbanovsky said. “It’s such a big deal for the city of Buda — [it creates]more access. We make comments about how traffic is like water; it finds a way, and this will evidently and absolutely improve what we have in downtown Buda.”