At a meeting May 3, the Kyle City Council approved a professional services agreement with The Boring Co., an infrastructure and tunnel construction company founded by Elon Musk, for the construction of an railroad pedestrian underpass that will be part of the city’s sprawling trail system, The Vybe.

“This is not a project that has just occurred overnight; this is something that has been worked on for several years with the developer of the Kyle Crossing Development,” City Manager Scott Sellers said at the meeting.

The tunnel was initially planned as a bridge, but the Texas Department of Transportation deemed it unsafe, Sellers said. There are also high-voltage electrical lines adjacent to the railroad tracks that the bridge would be built over, adding to the impossibility of the bridge.

“The professional services agreement does start the actual permitting with Union Pacific [Corp. railroad], although we’ve had preliminary discussions with them, and there is some concern as a railroad should,” Sellers said.

Part of the work that will be done by The Boring Co. will conduct a geotechnical investigation to analyze the soil and foundation of the proposed tunnel area.

The project is estimated at $3 million, which will be paid for by Central SouthWest Texas Development, the developers of the Kyle Crossing Phase 2 development.

The tunnel will be 12 feet in diameter, but the path will only be 10 feet wide; the tunnel will also be lit and will have cameras most likely monitored by the Kyle Police Department for safety.

Once construction begins, Sellers said it should take a couple of months for completion.

There will be an agreement with Union Pacific Corp. on the agenda at the upcoming meeting May 17.

Former City Hall renovation

The council approved the issuance of a request for proposals from qualified general contractors for the construction and design work on the former City Hall building, located at 104 S. Burleson St., Kyle, to be utilized as a mixed-use building.

The building is approximately 15,000 square feet with three floors. The construction budget is set at $6 million, according to agenda documents, with designs to be completed by the end of 2022 so construction may begin in January.

The item will be brought back to council once proposals have been received.

Teacher externship program

The council also approved a memorandum of understanding, a written agreement between two or more parties, among the city, Hays CISD and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area for a Teacher externship program.

The program partners WSRCA, chambers of commerce and school districts to provide middle and high school teachers with opportunities to enrich the classroom.

“Educators spend time with employers in various industries to learn through direct experiences about how classroom content and learning strategies are applied in the workplace to bring relevance to student learning,” according to WSRCA.

The agreement is in effect through Dec. 31.