County selects corridor for potential FM 150 realignment

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After looking at four options, Hays County has selected a corridor through which to potentially reroute the portion of FM 150 that currently goes through downtown Kyle and connects to I-35.

Officials and engineers selected Corridor C, located in the southern portion of Kyle, for further studying. The road would be rerouted from Arroyo Ranch Road, taken south and would tie back in with I-35 at Yarrington Road.

"A lot of hard work has gone on since we started this project to where we are today, and many of you were a valuable part of that process, and we appreciate that," Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said. "This is just one more step in the process."

Project Engineer Joe Cantalupo said Corridor C was chosen because there are no railroad crossings, the project would relieve traffic through downtown Kyle and the road would connect to the future FM 110—a loop around east San Marcos.

But Cantalupo also said Corridor C could have considerable impacts on private landowners in the area. Corridor C also has more floodplain crossings than other corridors and is near historic ranches and other properties that would be affected.

Angelita Tobias, who owns property in Corridor C, said more resident input is needed before any other decisions are made. She said she wished there was a citizen advisory board that could provide input on the project.

"I feel the decision has already been made," Tobias said.

Annetta Hughson also owns property within Corridor C. She said she does not believe the project will take cars out of downtown Kyle, because she believes Yarrington Road is too far south. Drivers wanting to go north on FM 150 toward Dripping Springs and Austin—which she believes accounts for much of the traffic on the road downtown—would not travel south to Yarrington Road in order to ultimately go north.

"When they first proposed this project, the original presentation was to have a connection that draws traffic away from downtown Kyle to I-35," Hughson said. "I don't see how this does that."

Hughson's concern was brought up during the open house, and Cantalupo said that the project's other aim—to move traffic safely and efficiently through Hays County—would be addressed through Corridor C.

Corridor A, which would connect FM 150 with Kohler's Crossing, was favored by the public, but Cantalupo said Hays CISD voiced opposition to that corridor because of the effects it could have on Barton Middle School and Hays High School, which are both near where the road would connect to Kohler's Crossing.

The exact alignment of the road is not known, so the number of Corridor C property owners affected is not yet known either, Cantalupo said.

Next phases of the project include working with property owners and performing an environmental assessment in the area to help determine potential alignments. In October or November officials anticipate holding another public meeting. Cantalupo said he expects schematic design to begin in December and last through June.
By Brett Thorne
Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.


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