Hays and Caldwell County residents are asked to take a second look at long-range planning along the State Highway 21 corridor as part of a virtual Town Hall. The roadway, which connects portions of eastern Hays County with Caldwell County, is also a major thoroughfare between San Marcos and Bastrop. This second Virtual Town Hall on SH 21 runs through September 1.
Hays County, in cooperation with neighboring Caldwell County, is gathering public input about improvements and right-of-way preservation along SH 21 from State Highway 80 to State Highway 130. The state highway, also known as Camino Real because it follows roughly along the old Spanish “Kings Road,” connects some of the fasting growing communities in all of Texas. Now SH 21 – on the eastern border of Hays County – is being studied to make it easier, and safer, to travel.
This long-term corridor preservation study – funded by bond money approved by Hays County voters in 2016 – aims to gather feedback on highway improvements that are necessary due to the rapid growth the region has already seen, and the anticipated growth the county expects will continue.
The study will focus on one of the critical sections of the road, an approximately 17-mile stretch of the highway between its intersection with SH 80 in San Marcos and the Hays County line near U.S. 183 at the Travis County line, close to the village of Niederwald. Hays County is cooperating with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other local governments on the project.
In this second virtual Town Hall for the roadway, Hays County and the project team are reporting back on comments heard in May’s first Town Hall (also virtual), present options for possible solutions and roadway improvements along SH 21, and ask for more opinions and feedback from citizens about these options.
Additionally, the virtual Town Hall will feature a welcome video by Hays County Commissioners Mark Jones, Pct. 2, and Debbie Ingalsbe, Pct. 1.
“Over 1,300 people participated in our first virtual Town Hall and gave their opinions,” Jones said. “We want to welcome these residents – and others – back to see our progress and let us know their thoughts once again. It’s important that the solutions we come up with are community based and protect the character and historic elements of our region. Involving the public at key steps in the process helps us reach that goal.”
The Virtual Town Hall website offers those who wish to submit feedback an opportunity to be heard. Commissioner Ingalsbe said the process was designed to be easy to use and not time consuming.
“In May, we learned that it was important to residents to improve safety and mobility along 21 while minimizing negative impacts to the community,” she said. “We want to continue to hear from area residents, business owners, and anyone else who has an interest in the roadway improvements to make sure we’re still getting it right.”
The virtual town hall can be found online at: sh21corridor.com.
For those without internet access, information on the study and possible roadway improvements can be obtained by texting the word INFO (in all caps) to 833-541-0677.
Hays County consistently works to ensure that its residents have safe and efficient transportation options. This project is part of a larger effort by the Hays County Commissioners Court to meet the current and future transportation needs of the region by making roadway improvements on over 45 active projects. Information about County road project are on the website, https://hayscountytx.com/residents/transportation-projects/.
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