The Texas Department of Transportation announced Thursday its governing board approved millions of dollars to fund pedestrian and bicycle improvements in dozens of small urban and rural cities, including San Marcos.
Among the projects approved by the Texas Transportation Commission at its Oct. 26 meeting is $2.6 million for a shared-use path from east of the Hopkins Street Bridge to just west of the I-35 southbound frontage road and $205,000 for pedestrian crossing improvements in downtown San Marcos.
The shared-use path will be 2 miles long and 10 feet wide, according to TxDOT spokesman Chris Bishop. It will include a pedestrian bridge over Purgatory Creek, bikeway signage, benches and trash receptacles as well as bike racks and undercrossings at Cheatham Street and at the Union Pacific railroad tracks.
The funding from the federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside, or TASA, Program supports population areas of 200,000 or less. The projects are intended to enhance safety for people of all ages and levels of ability, improve mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists, help mitigate congestion and connect important community destinations, according to a news release.
San Marcos Parks Operations Manager Bert Stratemann said as soon as the city receives the advanced funding agreement from TxDOT, it has 18 months to complete the project. The plans are almost ready for bids, and the city is working with the Union Pacific on permitting.
Other Austin-area projects include a $1.3 million downtown bicycle/pedestrian loop in Liberty Hill and $406,000 for sidewalks along Sportsplex Drive in Dripping Springs.
This story has been reflected with the correct name and title of Bert Stratemann, San Marcos parks operation manager.