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

July 19th, 2010
Wonder World extension officially opens Saturday


The Wonder World Drive extension, which will officially open Saturday, is bordered by 500 acres of dedicated city park land. City of San Marcos photo.


The largest transportation project in the San Marcos history will officially open Saturday, when public officials will preside over a dedication and opening ceremony for the $26.38 million Wonder World Drive extension.

City, state, federal and county officials will participate in the celebration, to which the public is invited. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz will preside at 10 a.m. at the east end of the new parkway at Hunter Road.

The parkway extends Wonder World Drive from Interstate-35 on the east across the south end of San Marcos to RR 12, the main highway going west towards Wimberley. Narvaiz said the road will reroute heavy truck traffic away from the city’s downtown and historic neighborhoods.

“The dedication of this significant roadway brings to fruition 20 years of committed efforts by our citizens, city council, staff and the Texas Department of Transportation,” Narvaiz said.

San Marcos voters approved the Wonder World Drive extension in a 1998 bond election. U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison influenced the U.S. Congress to allocate $10 million in 2005 for right-of-way acquisition, studies, permits and engineering. The City of San Marcos financed the 3.2-mile extension via a pass-through agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The pass-through agreement provides that TxDOT will reimburse the City from $3 million to $6 million per year for 10-20 years based on traffic volume. Permanent traffic counters will record traffic volumes on the roadway between Hunter Road and RR 12. The city will receive its first payment in August 2011.

The dedication festivities will begin at 7 a.m. with the Run2Purgatory, a 5K fun run and walk that is open to the public and free of charge. All race participants will receive free commemorative t-shirts. Runners can register at the starting line located on the east end of the Wonder World Drive extension at Hunter Road.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and include autos from Dick’s Classic Car Museum, introduction of dignitaries and the dedication.

The festivities will include live music, a remote control car race, a barbecue lunch prepared by city fire and police personnel, and guided tours of the new parkway and the Purgatory Creek Preserve hike and bike trail.

The Wonder World Drive extension is bordered by more than 500 acres of dedicated city park land.

Parking for the day’s events will be at the east end of the Wonder World Drive extension at Hunter Road. Police officers will be on hand to direct traffic. Handicap and VIP parking will be available. Overflow parking will be located at Hernandez Intermediate School, 333 Stagecoach Trail.

After the festivities, construction crews will remove barricades and prepare for the 6 p.m. opening of the roadway from Hunter Road to Ranch Road 12. The Craddock Avenue extension will remain under construction with an anticipated fall completion date.

The project was designed by KBR of Austin and is being built by J.C. Evans Construction of Leander under the direction of Interim City Manager Laurie Moyer, Director of Capital Improvements David Healey and Assistant Director of Public Services Sabas Avila.

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13 thoughts on “Wonder World extension officially opens Saturday

  1. Woohoo! I look forward to getting the first speeding ticket on the extension. Should shave a few minutes off my daily commute.

  2. Question – why did TxDOT think it was a good idea to ALREADY change the signs on IH-35 for Wimberley? If you follow them as they are now, you get lost at the intersection of Hunter and Wonder World with no clue where to go.

    Could they seriously not wait a week??

  3. Yep. Speeders on residential streets. I make no apologies for how I drive on highways. None of us are perfect.

  4. ” If you follow them as they are now, you get lost at the intersection of Hunter and Wonder World with no clue where to go.”

    YES !

    I was coming off of northbound IH-35 the other night, and thought “Maybe they already opened it !”

    Instead it was RR-12 to nowhere !

    Curiously humorous (for a local).

  5. i too thought i had entered the twilight zone when the wonder world exit sign suddenly said Wimberley; i mean Wonder World Drive isn’t gone, why not just ADD the Wimberley signage? drivers will STILL need to know that its Wonder World drive – that’s where the hospital, banks, movies, etc are located.

  6. Ted, I see now. All this time I never knew that traffic fatalities resulting from unsafe driving only happened in neighborhoods.

    I agree about the signage. Very confusing.

  7. 50-70 mph on a neighborhood street (30 mph zone) just strikes me as far more unsafe than 80-90 on IH35. In fact, an equal increase in mph on the highway would be 90-110 mph and an equal increase, percentage-wise, would be 115-165 mph.

    So, the speeding that I complain about in the neighborhoods (as do many other people) is probably FAR less safe than my speeding on the highways, relative to the design of the streets.

    Like I said, none of us are perfect. I like to drive fast and when it feels safe, I do. I don’t believe it is safe to go down Alamo at 65 mph. I think most would agree. I know the people living there do.

    Of course, perhaps that is just what makes me so awesome – I am able to hear the concerns raised by countless members of the community, and try my best to get them addressed, even if getting those concerns addressed may also impact my ability to drive fast on other roads. I’m just selfless that way.

    Either way, whether it is safe for me to speed on the Wonder World extension has no bearing on whether it is safe to speed on Franklin, or whether we ought to have more neighborhood traffic enforcement. So, are you going somewhere meaningful with this?

  8. Ad Hominem Tu Quoque



  9. Speeders are speeders Ted. You may think that speeding on a major road is somehow less dangerous than doing the same in a neighborhood, but I have a feeling statistics would prove you wrong. I think you’ve made my point for me, so I’ll leave well enough alone. Be careful out there.

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