As drivers of RR 12 between Wimberley and San Marcos are keenly aware, there's a lot of road construction activity under way, mostly on the San Marcos end. Drivers can expect the activity to move closer to Wimberley and continue for at least another nine to 12 months.
TxDOT area engineer Don Nyland said that the new Wonder World Drive Extension project from I-35 to RR 12, led by the City of San Marcos, is nearing completion.
Nyland says in May TxDOT will begin widening RR 12 with full shoulders and a turn lane from the Wonder World Dr. intersection west to Pioneer Trail, about a mile in length and nine months construction time. The widening, Nyland said, will be paid totally with federal stimulus funds. He was unsure of the cost.
Although it is less obvious, more activity can be seen on the north side of RR 12 for a considerable distance, inside and along the Freeman and Ingram Ranches. Ranch fences are being pulled back 20 to 30 yards and new fencing is going up.
Pct. 3 County Commissioner Will Conley says there are several related planned projects and right-of-way acquisition going on. They include construction of a bridge over the flood prone Sink Creek section, improvements at the Hugo Rd (CR 214) intersection, the future San Marcos-to-Wimberley parkway and a complete reconstruction of the junction at RR 12 and 32.
Conley said he anticipates the county will let contracts this summer for the Sink Creek, Hugo and junction projects, with work possibly starting in August.
"A large section of the junction will be abandoned through the design work," Conley said. "I have requested that the state give that to the county. I'm working with the City of Wimberley to put together a group of stakeholders to see what we'd like it to be in the future."
The county also is moving forward on the environmental assessment and right-of-way acquisition for the parkway project. Nearly $7 million is allocated in the county's FY 2010 road budget for right-of-way, environmental study, engineering and program management. At last check, the county had spent $189,083 on right-of-way.