The project proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation and Hays County would cost an estimated $35.5 million and would widen and realign FM 2001.
The project would connect I-35 to SH 21, TxDOT reps said during a presentation. The current project proposal would eliminate the 90-degree turns on FM 2001 and connect the road north and south of SH 21, improving travel times for commuters and emergency vehicles.
Every resident who spoke during the hearing was optimistic about the project, but several were concerned about the segment in which FM 2001 crosses with SH 21.
John McCormick lives on land alongside SH 21 and said multiple drivers crash through his fence every year. People drive too fast on the corridor, he said.
“We’ve witnessed the tremendous dangers of [SH] 21,” he said. “Our concern is for safety.”
He recommended building an intersection that doesn’t utilize stop signs, such as an overpass. However, he said that anyone who has lived in the area as long as he has knows the project is necessary.
Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones is also looking forward to the completion of the project. He said FM 2001 has been a dangerous road his entire life.
“I’ve lived here for over 50 years and with the amount of growth that we’ve experienced, Hays County has been named the fastest growing county in the United States with a population of over 500,000,” Jones said. “I think anyone in Buda and Kyle doesn’t have any trouble believing that.”
With that growth, FM 2001 has become more dangerous over the years, he said.
“We think these improvements are going to be a huge safety improvement,” Jones said. “The benefits should hopefully outway any of the negative aspects of this project.”