On June 16, the Texas Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking ceremony for its FM 2001 realignment project. A new multimodal roadway beginning at the corner of Sunbright Boulevard and White Wing Trail, on the edge of Buda's Sunfield Development, will connect to CR 118.
The new roadway will eliminate the sharp curves of a section of FM 2001 between Overpass Road and Satterwhite Road and is intended to improve safety.
It is the first of three projects related to the realignment of FM 2001, spanning a total of nearly 9 miles, and will widen and realign the existing two-lane roadway between I-35 and Hwy. 21 into a four-lane, divided highway with shoulders, according to TxDOT.
"This project not only adds additional capacity with the extra lanes to keep up with the population growth and the the traffic increase we're seeing in the Buda area, but [it] also eliminate[s] those sharp curves that we see on FM 2001 today," TxDOT Austin District engineer Tucker Ferguson said.
In addition to Ferguson, State Rep. Erin Zweiner and Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones also gave speeches about the impact of the 1-mile project, which will cost roughly $6 million. Work is expected to be completed by contractor Hunter Industries in fall 2022, weather permitting.
The curves on the existing roadway were noted several times during the event as being a hazard for drivers, and Buda Mayor Lee Urbanovsky noted there were two accidents in that section of FM 2001 within the previous week.
"Hays County has had too many accidents that have taken lives or injured residents severely," Zweiner said during the event.
Jones said the road was built with its curves due to there being less traffic when it was designed, when the county's population was 30,000-40,000, but went on to say a car crash fatality on FM 2001 was one of the first deaths he had seen while growing up in the late 1960s.
"When [FM] 2001 was first built, it had to go around the Dacy Dairy [Farm] and it had to make sure you hit the Goforth General Store," he said, pointing out possible reasons for the road's original design. "You couldn't go through this cattle pasture, [because] you had to go down that cow trail because the water was here."
The groundbreaking was also attended by Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby and other first responders as well as a handful of residents.
"This is a very big project for our first responders," Jones said. "If you look around, they came out in force. This is a huge project for them."
The project will also add 5-foot bike lanes and 6-foot sidewalks to each side of FM 2001.
"This investment will make a meaningful difference for our community," Zweiner said.