San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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November 3rd, 2011
Wonder World Drive Extension wins ‘excellence’ award

SUBMITTED REPORT

The voter-approved Wonder World Drive Extension Project completed by the City of San Marcos in 2010 won the Texas Municipal League’s “Municipal Excellence Award” in Public Works for cities of more than 25,000 population.

TML presented the award to San Marcos officials at a recent state conference in Houston, including Council Members Fred Terry and Kim Porterfield. Mayor Daniel Guerrero recognized receipt of the top honor at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“Congratulations to the city council, staff, engineers and contractors—and most of all the people of San Marcos—for helping us accomplish a great project that will benefit generations to come,” said Mayor Guerrero.

Wonder World Drive is a 3.5 mile divided, limited access highway bordered by parks and natural areas, linking I-35 to Ranch Road 12 and western Hays County. San Marcos voters approved the project in a 1998 bond election.

The Wonder World extension project involved ten years of dedicated efforts by the City of San Marcos, its citizens, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Historical Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The $26.38 million construction cost was financed by the city through a pass-through financing agreement with TXDOT. Congress allocated $10 million in 2005 to the project for right of way, environmental studies and permits and engineering.

Sabas Avila, Assistant Director of Public Services-Transportation, was the project manager. KBR, Inc. provided engineering services and J.C. Evans of Leander built the extension. Construction began in November 2008 and was completed in July 2010.

In addition to the divided parkway, the Wonder World project incorporated parks, hike and bike trails, water quality measures, and preservation of the natural resources for which the city is known.

The roadway features many aesthetic treatments that blend with the local landscape, including Texas limestone, native plants, intersection landscaping, and wildflower seeding to create a nicer landscape for the residents and for travelers of Wonder World Drive.

The Texas Municipal League is a voluntary association of more than 1,115 Texas cities. Its primary objective is to serve the needs and advocate the interests of Texas cities, and it is the largest organization of its kind in the United States. The City of San Marcos is a member of the Texas Municipal League.

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