The Hays County Commissioners Court has given their approval for another investigation to help improve travel on State Highway 21.
The County trusts the new investigation will help make it simpler and more secure to travel along the highway, which associates a handful of fast-growing communities between San Marcos and Bastrop.
It will before long experience a long-range “corridor preservation study” in an exertion led by commissioners and co-sponsors Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and Mark Jones.
“This is Hays County living up to a long-term commitment,” said Ingalsbe, whose district stretches along a portion of the highway. “We’ve made several improvements to SH 21 over the years. Now we’re looking at the long-term and the big picture: How do we plan this road to meet the demands of the future and growth we know is likely to keep coming.”
Jones feels a similar way.
“We’re one of the state’s fastest-growing counties,” said the commissioner, whose district also includes a portion of the towns SH 21 runs through. “We’re seeing very rapid growth along SH 21 and even more growth planned. In addition to SH 21 is a major route for car and truck traffic passing through our region. We have to think ahead to make this road safe and to keep traffic moving.”
As per Hays County, the investigation will concentrate on a critical section of the highway, a 17-mile stretch between its crossing point with SH 80 in San Marcos and the Hays County line close U.S. 183 at the Travis County line, which is near Niederwald.
Its goal will likely bring long term upgrades to the highway conceivably through a few phases over the coming decades. Engineers will study traffic and populace projections, environment constraints, existing buildings, historic sites, business, and school bus patterns, alongside different issues, to create suggestions for future travel lanes as well as a crossing point, walkway and shoulder improvements. The county additionally plants to preserve the option to proceed along the street that could be required later on.
Some in the region, particularly school districts and first responders, are hopeful the investigation will improve security.
TxDOT information appears at least 37 fatalities that happened on the road within 2016 and 2018. Among those executed was a Lehman High School student in 2016, a San Marcos father and his unborn kid, and a volunteer fireman in 2018.
“Every one of those affects a whole family, a whole community of people,” said Ingalsbe.
“It’s not just fatalities,” added Jones. “We’ve also had a lot of injuries on SH 21, and there can be delays, congestion and flooding problems at certain choke points and intersections.”
Hays Consolidated School District additionally welcomes the study, as a portion of its schools is along the SH 21 passageway.
“It’s the land that’s available and affordable,” said Tim Savory, chief communications officer for the district. “Developers are looking there. We expect the growth to be there. We would welcome any improvements on Highway 21.”
The county will collaborate with TxDOT and other local governments as they work on the project. It will be financed by bond cash endorsed by Hays County voters in November 2016.
SH 21 is otherwise called Camino Real since it generally follows the old Spanish “King’s Road.”
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