San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 16th, 2009
Ribbon cutting ends 12 years of construction


Local drivers may have noticed that there has been substantial completion of the construction on the section of U.S. 290 West between Trautwein Road and Nutty Brown Road.

Hays County Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford (D-Dripping Springs) recently announced that the completion will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursda. State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), State Representative Patrick Rose (D-Dripping Springs), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials, leaders from Hays County and Dripping Springs, local developers and businesses will join Ford at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the southwest corner of Nutty Brown Road and U.S. 290 West.

The completion of the safety improvements on U.S. 290 near the Travis County line marks the end of 12 years of construction on the roadway. The finalization of the segment also marks the end of the first pass-through-finananced partnership project between Hays County and TxDOT, which was approved by voters in a $207 million November 2008 road bond package.

Tax-funded construction bonds paid for costs up, front but construction cost are expected to be ultimately reimbursed 100 percent by TxDOT. The budget for the project was $8 million. However, the county anticipates that final costs will come in closer $6.5 million, with the project finishing several months ahead of schedule.

“Drivers on this section of Highway 290 West have patiently, and sometimes not so patiently, put up with construction cones for several years now, knowing that there will be a payoff in improved traffic flow and safety with the addition of the center turn lane, ” said Ford. “Taxpayers will also see a payback from TxDOT based on traffic volumes, and I expect payback will be fairly quick on this stretch.”

Carlos Lopez, TxDOT’s Austin District Engineer, said, “As Hays County continues to grow, U.S. 290 will remain a vital corridor for commuters. TxDOT will continue to look for ways to improve mobility and safety on U.S. 290 as well as other roadways linking Hays and Travis County.”

The ribbon-cutting event also will acknowledge the opening of the re-aligned intersection of Nutty Brown Road and Oak Branch Drive. Hays County 2001 bond funds were used for this improvement, made possible and affordable through a land swap with a group of developers from Dripping Springs. Residents and visitors to the Oak Run West neighborhood will now have an easier and safer driving experience when the exit on to U.S. 290.

The ribbon-cutting is sponsored Makar properties, developers of Belterra, Buffington Texas Classic Homes and the developers of Ledge Stone, HDR Engineering Inc.,  HNTB, Joe Bland Construction, KBDJ LP Conservation Land and Quarry and the Nutty Cafe.

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