A proposal to extend FM 150 and Yarrington Road east of San Marcos in Caldwell County took another step forward Feb. 11.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization policy board—comprising elected officials from Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties—approved a consulting contract with Brown and Gay Engineers Inc. to conduct corridor studies and complete schematic design on the project.

The project aims to improve east-west connectivity in Caldwell County between SH 130 and I-35, according to CAMPO documents. Both roadways currently end at the Hays and Caldwell county line at SH 21. The study will look at extending Yarrington by 10 miles and FM 150 by 7 miles east from SH 21 to SH 130.

Last May, the CAMPO board awarded $1.725 million to Caldwell County for the work. CAMPO staffers secured the contract on behalf of the county, CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson said. CAMPO will continue to assist the county with the studies and schematic design, which should take about 18 months.

Johnson said Caldwell County approved the interlocal agreement the morning of Feb. 11 and will provide a local match of $432,000 for the work.

The studies will consist of data collection, public engagement, travel demand forecasting, cost estimates, an assessment of alternatives and recommended alignments, according to CAMPO documents.

After the studies and schematic design are complete, Caldwell County and the Texas Department of Transportation will decide whether to move the project forward through the federal environmental process and construction, CAMPO Community Outreach Manager Doise Miers said.

The location of the study areas for the roadway expansions is north of the of 934 acres of land along SH 80 and FM 1984 that San Marcos City Council is considering annexing.

The land is slated for a SMART Terminal that developer Mike Schroeder hopes to turn into a rail and manufacturing industrial park. The terminal’s first tenant is Katerra, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer. In October, the city of San Marcos granted Katerra an economic incentive package.