San Marcos Director of Development Services Chuck Swallow, left, and Director of Capital Improvements David Healey, right, have 65 projects going in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) in San Marcos is rolling with 14 projects under construction and another 51 in earlier stages, according to CIP Director David Healey.
In a presentation last week to the city council, Healey said 21 design firm have been approved to move forward, each working on at least one project, bringing the total to 33 companies at work on the design, management and construction of CIP projects.
“Our citizens are very engaged in the process,” Healey said. “It’s actually really neat. They are the ones who decide which projects get priority.”
Among the projects heading the list is the McCarty Lane extension, which includes building one-mile of five-lane roadway with associated water and wastewater improvements. City staff asserts the project “will create a safer crossing for Cottonwood Creek.” Construction is scheduled to take place from January through September of 2010. The roadway will remain open during the construction.
Projects in the Rio Vista neighborhood will be under construction for about 30-36 months, weather permitting, for the replacement of the old water, wastewater, and drainage facilities. A water quality pond is also expected, contributing to the $12 million the project is expected to cost.
On Aquarena Springs Drive, bike and pedestrian improvements are expected to cost around $450,000. The street currently has intermittent sidewalks. The plans provide for a 10-foot bicycle and pedestrian sidewalk. The scheduled construction is set for February through November of 2010. The project will be coordinated with Texas State and TxDOT Loop 82 Overpass project.
Bike and pedestrian improvements are also scheduled for the Riverside and River Road crossing. City staff said drainage channels and poor sight distance make the crossing dangerous. Improvements are scheduled to commence October 2011 and will continue through January 2012 at an estimated cost of $350,000.
For the end of the calendar year, 15 projects are anticipated to begin construction, including:
– Aquarena Springs turn lane,
– Comanche water replacement,
– County/Uhland/Bishop drainage,
– Gil Road lift station,
– Oakridge booster pump,
– Railroad quiet zones,
– Sanitary sewer evaluation and repairs,
– Yarrington Road signage,
– CM Allen/Cheatham traffic signals,
– Commanche wastewater,
– Craddock extension,
– MKT RR 8-inch rehab,
– Quail Run water replacement phase 1,
– River Road waterline extension, and
– Waterline encasements.
The city council has stated its goals behind the projects as:
– Expanding economic development, thereby attracting new tourism,
– Improving the image of San Marcos by rehabilitating historic neighborhoods and protecting pedestrians and cyclist from dangerous vehicles,
– Enhancing the region’s transportation grid by improving mobility for students, parents, and commercial interests and improving bicycle and pedestrian access,
– Improving collaboration between San Marcos and regional entities, aided by the future Texas State technology center,
– Supporting environmental protection and smart growth by maintaining quality of life, sustainability and growth, and improving drainage infrastructure in flood-prone areas.