Hays County hails two road projects
Hays County Commissioners Court members have noted their appreciation for the Texas Transportation Commission’s approval of two projects that will benefit Hays County residents. Travel along U.S. Highway 290 to and from Hays County to the Austin area, and navigating the overpass and intersection of Posey Road and Interstate 35 in southern Hays County will become easier and safer.
At its Aug. 30 meeting, the Transportation Commission approved and fully funded a major overhaul of traffic lanes at the “Y” in Oak Hill as part of its 2019 Unified Transportation Program. The $440 million non-tolled road project will include three new mainlanes in each direction on US 290, as well as three frontage lanes in each direction. Flyovers will be built at the US 290 and SH 71 intersection, where the mainlanes of US 290 would be depressed, or go under SH 71. This project could begin construction in 2020.
“This is excellent news for commuters as they try to make their way to and from Hays County into Austin,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant, who represents Dripping Springs and surrounding areas. “These much-needed improvements will positively impact the safety and mobility of all travelers in the area.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said, “Because so many residents of Hays County work, play, or do business in the Austin area, the road improvements will be welcome for many throughout the county.”
“This is a historic day,” CAMPO Executive Director Will Conley said. “For years the Y at Oak Hill has been one of the worst bottlenecks in our region. The solution took years to work out, and I look forward to this improvement being built for our area.”
Another Mobility35 project was given the greenlight at the meeting. The Commission awarded the construction contract to demolish the existing bridge at I-35 and Posey Road in Hays County and to build a new bridge in its place. In addition, six entrance and exit ramps will be reversed to increase safety and mobility, and frontage roads will be converted to one-way traffic. The $31.7 million project will be constructed by Webber, LLC.
“Traffic along Posey Road is increasing along with the population growth we see all over Hays County,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe. “The overpass at Posey Road and I-35 is inadequate for the amount of traffic that uses it, and we welcome the improvements. It’s the final overpass to be improved and the completion of turning I-35 access roads to one-way.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said, “The reversal of entrance and exit ramps is a much-needed change to the area, and one-way frontage roads will contribute greatly to safety as they have all along I-35 in Hays County.”