The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on Monday allocated almost $3.9 million in federal transportation funds to Hays County projects, including $1 million to help pay for a railroad overpass on Aquarena Springs Drive in San Marcos.
The funds were among $35.95 million authorized the same day for projects in Hays, Travis, Bastrop, Williamson, and Caldwell Counties.
If funds for the San Marcos overpass are unused after three years, the money will instead be used for planned modifications to Ranch-to-Market Road 967 in northern Hays County.
Federal funds approved on Monday for other projects in Hays County include:
James Massaro, City of San Marcos engineer, has said the city hopes to start construction on the overpass by September or October 2013.
The San Marcos City Council has already budgeted $7.4 million over the next two fiscal years toward the $39 million overpass project. The Texas Transportation Commission has committed $20 million from its State Railroad Grade Separation Fund. Additionally, the city won a $600,000 federal earmark for the overpass, which would serve traffic traveling between Interstate 35 and Texas State University.
Linda Huff, the city’s Capital Improvements director, said recently that the city needs to find $9.9 million more for the overpass project. She said the additional cost includes right-of-way, most of which is owned by Texas State University. As of the beginning of this month, the city had not formally asked the university to donate right-of-way for the overpass but expected to do so, Huff said.
Rather than ask CAMPO staff to choose individual projects for federal funding, the Hays County Commissioner Court and other courts sought and received lump sums based on population.
The $35.95 million approved on Monday is all that is left of the $62.95 million in federal funds made available for the next three years. The first allocation of the funds took place in November, when the CAMPO board approved $27 million for regional projects, which include new buses for Texas State University and a study on rerouting freight train traffic away from population centers along Interstate 35 between Georgetown and San Antonio.
The federal funds doled out by CAMPO last month include: