The City of San Marcos began several construction projects in early July designed to improve safety, mobility and drainage in a few key areas.
Projects already under way include realignment of the intersection of Thorpe Lane and Hopkins Street, and work on North LBJ Drive and West Hopkins Street.
Melissa Millecam, communications director for the City of San Marcos, said residents affected by the construction have been involved in the planning process.
"These are projects that have been in the works for a long time and are coming to fruition, so I think that even though there will be some temporary inconveniences, as there always are when we have a big construction project, the benefits will be really great down the road," Millecam said.
Phase 1 of construction on the congested Thorpe Lane-Hopkins Street intersection began July 2 and will see major reconstruction in the upcoming months. All phases of the project are expected to be completed by early 2013, Millecam said.
Improvements will widen Hopkins to four eastbound lanes with two dedicated left-turn lanes to Thorpe. Southbound Thorpe will also have two dedicated left-turn lanes onto eastbound Hopkins and a dedicated right lane for westbound Hopkins.
City Council awarded Capital Excavation Co. the $1.7 million contract May 15. Additional improvements to the intersection will include sidewalks on both streets, raised medians, and new water lines and drainage systems.
"Thorpe especially has some drainage problems, so they're going to try to correct some of that," Millecam said.
Phase 2 will begin later this summer with widening of the roads on the north sides of Hopkins and Thorpe, curb and gutter installation, and addition of the sidewalks. An asphalt overlay will also be added.
Phase 3, planned for mid-December, will include the installation of the raised medians and an asphalt overlay on Hopkins. Motorists should expect lane closures during the eight-month construction period, but two-way traffic will remain open on both streets.
"It's really to improve the traffic flow in a very, very busy area of San Marcos," Millecam said.
Water main installations
North LBJ Drive from Holland Street to Forest Drive was closed to southbound traffic July 9 while installation of two water mains takes place. The northbound lane will remain open, with southbound traffic being detoured to Chestnut Street until the project's completion in early October.
The water mains are part of the Comanche 24-inch Transmission Line Project aimed at increasing water system capacity and reliability. City Council awarded Santa Clara Construction Ltd. the $2.6 million contract for the project May 1.
The project will build a 6,640-foot-long, 24-inch water main from Ed J.L. Green Drive to the intersection of Comanche and Sessom streets. The project will also include a 1,340-foot-long, 12-inch water main along North LBJ from Forest Street to Peach Street and is expected to take 12 months to complete.
A similar water main installation began July 9 on West Hopkins Street. While it is a separate project, West Hopkins will also have a 12-inch water line installed between Comanche Street and Guadalupe Street.
During the project, reinforced concrete drainage pipe also will be installed along Fredericksburg Street.
West Hopkins will remain passable during construction, while Fredericksburg between San Antonio Street and Hopkins will close to traffic for the duration of the project.
City Council awarded Aaron Concrete Construction LP the $430,378 contract June 19. The drainage project is expected to take four months to complete, with Hopkins road construction finishing in late August.
"We've got a lot going on, and we recognize that fact, but the long-term goal is to improve the services and mobility through the community. We're excited that these projects are getting under way," Millecam said.