More than half of a dozen residents from Kyle and San Marcos expressed their concerns during Wednesday's council meeting. Comments included environmental concerns, potential bridge costs and area development.
Assistant City Manager James Earp addressed resident questions regarding the Transportation Master Plan amendment during a presentation. Discussing flood concerns, Earp said the city has been dealing with flood issues for years, and the bridge would be high enough that even a 500-year flood should not affect it.
"San Marcos does not hold the monopoly of knowing how to handle flood waters," Earp said.
Earp also said the price of the bridge is not concrete until the city receives official estimates from the developers, which would not be chosen until at least 2025.
"We have no idea what it's going to cost," he said. "What we do know is that we have to start somewhere, and at the time we thought $30 million seemed reasonable for the length and height of bridge we are going for."
Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said of all the reasons residents rejected the bridge, aiding future transportation was not brought up, which is the bridge's purpose.
In 2016, the Nance family, who was in the audience, drafted a developer's agreement with the city of Kyle to “create single-family, multifamily, commercial and office sites along with recreational facilities, public parks, open space and space for public use that would not exceed 9,000 living unit equivalents.”
Earp said the family voluntarily allowed Kyle to annex their land so the family could have control over how the land was developed.
As a result, Earp said in an earlier news release that a bridge would need to be developed in order to help residents living in the western portion of the Nance Ranch land to cross the river more easily.
“That bridge will serve as a lifeline to those that need a way to cross the Blanco and other low water crossings, to access grocery stores, work or medical facilities during times of severe flash flooding,” Earp said.
Despite public comments, Webster and other council members said they had not changed their minds on approving the amendments or the bridge and voted 6-0 to add the amendments to the plan.