San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 2nd, 2008
San Marcos Begins Wonder World Extension Project

The City of San Marcos has begun the largest transportation project in its history with today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the $26.2 million Wonder World Drive extension project.

Dignitaries speaking at the event included Mayor Susan Narvaiz, City Manager Rick Menchaca, Amadeo Saenz, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation, Robert Daigh, District Engineer; Sue Cohen of the Heritage Neighborhood Association, and Rod Vilhauer, President of Rodman, LLC.

“The Wonder World Drive extension will provide a vital transportation artery linking Ranch Road 12 to I-35.” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “This project brings to fruition 20 years of dedicated efforts by our citizens, City Council, staff and the Texas Department of Transportation.”

The parkway will connect Ranch Road 12 to I-35 by extending Wonder World Drive from its intersection at Hunter Road to Ranch Road 12. The road will improve traffic flow to and from western Hays County and relieve the downtown area and many residential neighborhoods of heavy truck and through traffic.

The City Council awarded the $26.2 million construction contract to Rodman LLC, on August 19.

In addition, the City of San Marcos has spent $16 million for engineering ($5.7 million) land acquisition ($4.6 million), environmental assessments ($610,819), archaeological studies ($463,969), and mitigation ($4.6 million) since 1999 to make the project possible.

The Wonder World Extension will be a 3.2 mile four lane limited access divided parkway from Hunter Road to Ranch Road 12. Construction will start this fall and take approximately two years to complete.

The project is financed by the City of San Marcos through a pass-through financing agreement with TxDOT. Dannenbaum Engineering assisted the City in preparing the application to submit to the state agency.

Winstead Consulting group assisted the City in attaining $10 million in federal highway appropriations to help fund the project in 2005.

After the parkway is completed, TxDOT will pay from $3 to $6 million in annual reimbursements to the City of San Marcos for a 10-20 year period based on traffic volumes.

In 2005, Congress appropriated $10 million for the Wonder World Extension project which has funded acquisition of right-of-way, environmental studies and permitting, engineering and design.

The parkway was designed by Kellogg, Brown and Root. Assistant City Manager Laurie Anderson and Interim Engineering Director Sabas Avila and their staffs are coordinating the project. The design and planning required extensive environmental permits and archaeological studies which are now complete.

Communications Director – City of San Marcos

History of the project can be seen here.

Brief write up about the extension can be seen here.

Speaker profiles can be seen here.

The Wonder World fact sheet here.

The full map of the project can be seen here.

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0 thoughts on “San Marcos Begins Wonder World Extension Project

  1. Phew. Does this mean they finally took down that sign that noted the completion date as something like July 19, 2008?

    Better late than never, like most of our transportation projects in the city. I hope they remain distinctly conscious of the environmental impact of this extension at all times.

  2. Kara,

    The sign was for the water line project that was completed on time in July, not the road project. It was CLEARLY stated on the sign that it was the water transmission project. It just happens that the water line project was at the same location.

  3. Kara- I had the same laugh whenever I drove by there.

    Dog – Thanks for CLEARING that up for us.

  4. Daniel,

    Aren’t you the one running for Mayor? Wow, you did not even know about what is happening in the city you want to run?????

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