Road construction along the I-35 corridor in Hays County has continued mostly unabated in 2020 and will continue at a steady clip in 2021, according to Epi Gonzalez, Texas Department of Transportation area engineer for the south Travis County region.
“COVID-19 has kind of thrown a little curveball at us in many aspects, but I think from a transportation perspective, it hasn’t really affected us that much,” Gonzalez said. “Of course, it’s affected us in the sense of how we actually conduct our business, but as far as some of those larger projects—we’re still moving forward with them.”
For 2021, Gonzalez listed a number of new and ongoing road projects for commuters and area residents to watch, from improved lighting along I-35 in Kyle to a roughly $100 million overpass project in San Marcos.••The former project, estimated to cost $3.7 million, would add high mast lighting between SH 80 and Yarrington Road.
Gonzalez and TxDOT Public Information Officer Bradley Wheelis noted benefits to this type of lighting as compared to older lighting systems, including reduced light pollution, improved roadway illumination for increased visibility and less maintenance. The masts would elevate LED fixtures 150 feet above I-35, and fewer light poles would be needed.
Beginning in the latter half of 2021, TxDOT will begin a five-year project at I-35 and Hwy. 123 in San Marcos that will include a replacement overpass over the San Marcos River, according to Gonzalez.
He also said a new I-35 ramp reversal project along I-35 in Kyle between FM 150 and Kyle Parkway is likely to proceed soon.
The project would only affect northbound traffic, and Gonzalez said it will mostly impact frontage roads, as opposed to traffic on I-35. However, some traffic may be diverted from the frontage roads to the main lanes due to construction of a new bridge.
Commuters driving through the San Marcos area can look forward to the completion of work on I-35 at Posey Road sometime in the fall.
Additionally, Gonzalez said FM 110 between Hwy. 123 and FM 621, which is currently under construction, is expected to be finished in July or August.
Looking further into the future and into southern Travis County, TxDOT’s Capital Express South Project will be a massive $300 million undertaking north of Buda that is expected to begin mid-2022. It will have a substantial impact on Buda and Kyle commuters, according to Wheelis.
The project will add two non-tolled lanes along I-35 from SH 71 to SH 45 SE in each direction.