The winning bid is from Smith Contracting Co. of Austin to build 10-foot-wide concrete trail segments, according to city documents. Beginning in May, the segments will be built in the following areas:
• a half-mile shared use path from Falconhead Boulevard to Lake Travis High School;
• a shared use path along Ladera Boulevard that includes a quarter-mile segment running between Willie Way and an area east near an existing Chick-Fil-A restaurant;
• a shared use path along the north and south sides of Bee Cave Parkway, connecting pedestrians from RM 620 to Central Park.
Three alternate projects likely to be included when work begins are:
•a small public parking lot near the A+ Credit Union off RM 620;
•a near half-mile trail improvement north of the Hill Country Galleria and on the south side of Bee Cave Parkway from Vista Ridge to Market Street; and
•the upgrading of specific trails in and near the Shops at the Galleria.
Alternate projects will proceed as required city easements are negotiated and finalized–typically at very little or no cost to the city, city staff told council. Any unspent funds from the bid can be rolled over into future trail construction phases, said City Manager Clint Garza.
In unanimously approving the trail work, Mayor Kara King and council member Andrea Willott said they were happy that residents of the Ladera neighborhood in western Bee Cave will now have pedestrian access to the commercial areas northeast at Ladera Boulevard and RM 620.
“This is so exciting for Ladera because not only do they now have their stop signs that they wanted for so long, but now they are going to be able to stay off the street when they walk down there,” Willott said. “So I am really very happy about this.”
In other business, the Bee Cave council had a lengthy public discussion concerning The Homestead neighborhood and the possibility of constructing an alternative, emergency access to the area that today is accessible by a single low-water crossing.
Such an access only would be used when the city was responding to a major medical emergency or large public hazard, such as a wildfire in The Homestead, while also simultaneously dealing with flooding at the nearby low-water crossing at Great Divide and Little Barton Creek.
However, Garza told council that multiple discussions with area landowners around The Homestead to date have not produced good options for pursuing the right-of-way for such an emergency access route, and that property owners did not want to work with the city on an emergency route instead of the city building a bridge to better withstand flooding at Great Divide Drive and Little Barton Creek.
“The property owners who would be affected by the easement for emergency access did not want to be the solution to the problem,” Garza said. “If the problem was access during a flood, they didn’t want to be the only solution.”
In other business, Bee Cave city council members:
• Approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Lakeway and the Village of the Hills to hire an emergency management coordinator for the region. The City of Bee Cave will contribute about $21,000 annually to fund the position;
• Agreed to sell four small segments of land totaling about 1.27 acres along RM 620 and Bee Cave Parkway and RM 620 and Hwy 71. The transaction is with the Texas Department of Transportation and is intended for future right-of-way needed by the state whenever it begins widening RM 620;
• Voted to set up a committee to interview and hire a replacement for Gary Miller, who has announced his pending retirement as Bee Cave chief of police.