FROM STAFF REPORTS
A contractor will begin adding a lane to Stagecoach Trail on Monday, a project that San Marcos city and school district officials hope will ease twice-daily traffic jams at Hernandez Elementary School.
Beginning at its intersection with Hunter Road, Stagecoach Trail is a four-lane divided boulevard with deceleration turn lanes at two of the campus’ primary driveways. Near the school’s western property line, however, four lanes separated by a grassy median abruptly narrow to two lanes without a median. The configuration contributes to regular bottlenecks during student drop-off in the morning and pick-up in the afternoon and often brings drivers to a standstill.
The quarter-mile of widened roadway is designed to keep through-traffic moving in the outside lane while parents wait in a dedicated left-turn lane. The project also includes work to improve drainage on the street with installation of a bioswale drainage ditch to absorb stormwater runoff.
On June 16, the San Marcos City Council awarded a $353,583 construction contract to the only company to bid for the job, Baytown-based Cox Commercial Construction LLC.
Under an interlocal agreement approved in February 2014, the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District agreed to contribute $65,000 toward the project; the city will pay the remainder, $288,583, if expenses stay within budget. (The estimated cost was $150,000 at the time the interlocal agreement was signed.)
Initially, officials hoped to complete the improvements by the beginning of the fall 2014 semester. Officials say there is a narrow window to expand the road if it is to be finished in time for start of the fall 2015 semester.
The widened road is projected to be completed in August 2015, city spokesperson Kristi Wyatt said on Friday. The drainage work is scheduled for completion in October 2015, according to quarterly project maps published by the city’s Engineering and Capital Improvements department.
Stagecoach Trail is a minor arterial that serves as the primary entrance to the Willow Creek neighborhood, an area that includes Willow Creek Estates, Ridge at Stonecliff, The Ridge at Willow Creek, The Park at Willow Creek and The Gardens at Willow Creek residential developments.