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‘Super 2’ road construction to begin
Wilson County travelers may soon get much-needed
relief from the increased traffic due to the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration in South Texas. During a telephone town hall meeting held June 27, Mario Medina of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) joined U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar to inform constituents of infrastructure improvements to U.S. 87, S.H. 123, and various farm-to-market roads in Wilson County.
More than 1,200 people participated in the 40-minute conference call.
Medina described improvements completed near Stockdale on U.S. 87 were funded by stimulus money, including a left-turn lane at F.M. 1681 near the Guadalupe County line on S.H. 123.
He advised participants that bids will be accepted in July and August for the “Super 2” projects -- passing lanes and right- or left-turn lanes on U.S. 87 from south of La Vernia to north of Nixon and S.H. 123 from south of Seguin to south of Stockdale. See “Highway terms” for more. The lanes will each be approximately 1 mile long.
These projects, totaling $16 million, are to be funded by Proposition 12 general obligation bonds, Cuellar said.
According to a TxDOT website, “The Texas Transportation Commission approved distribution of $3 billion in Proposition 12 bond funding that will address congested highways, rehabilitate bridges, and improve connectivity between the state’s metropolitan areas. ... These funds represent the balance of $5 billion in general obligation bonding authority by voters and first authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2007. Construction contracts for the first $2 billion in projects were approved in 2010.”
According to Laura Lopez, public information officer for TxDOT’s San Antonio District, “The proposed plans are to widen S.H. 123 and U.S. 87 to install passing lanes and left-turn lanes (what is referred to as Super 2). ... The project is expected to end in winter 2013.” See “Proposed plans in Wilson County” for more.
“This widening is in selected locations and is not a continuous widening. The project is designed to better aid in the flow of traffic and enhance safety on these roadways.” Lopez said.
Medina said low-volume roads to have modifications soon include F.M. 541 and F.M. 1344. He said the farm-to-market roads are the “backbone of the transportation system” and many were built 50 years ago. Today, these roads are being traveled by 100 to 200 trucks daily, and are of “high priority at the moment.”
According to Lopez, TxDOT is “in the process of completing two rehabilitation projects on F.M. 3353 and F.M. 427 from U.S. 181 to F.M. 537. Our next priority projects due to the Eagle Ford shale traffic include intersection improvements on F.M. 541 at F.M. 1344; F.M. 541 from U.S. 181 to F.M. 1344 for restoration work; and F.M. 1344 from F.M. 541 to Karnes County line for rehabilitation work.”
Lopez added, “In addition to the contracted work listed above, TxDOT has a local maintenance office located in Floresville that is responsible for daily maintenance of the state roadways in Wilson County. They are working diligently to patch potholes, maintain signs, improve safety, and correct damage caused by truck traffic.”
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