A new roundabout at RM 3237 and RM 150 was recently unveiled, allowing Hays County to celebrate its newest, and first-ever County-funded roundabout intersection. At a ceremony on July 21, officials from the county along with American Structurepoint, held a ribbon-cutting event to mark the occasion. [See the video]
“By using a roundabout rather than a traditional T intersection with signals, the improvements provide more efficient movement of cars through the year 2041, a safer intersection, and environmental benefits,” said Hays County Commissioner on Shell, Pct. 3.
He added that RM 3227 and RM 150 are busy roads, especially at this intersection considering the popular destination points and roadway connections to other parts of the County.
“Our goal is to ensure the safety of Hays County residents and travelers by constructing safe and effective transportation improvements while honoring the character of the community we all love,” Shell said.
The intersection includes the installation of Dark Sky compliant lights. By working with the Driftwood Historical Conservation Society during design, the County incorporated a warmer amber color reducing the glare and reducing the amount of light reflecting off the roadway while still meeting Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) design standards.
“This approach not only preserves the local character of the community and allows for more visibility for stargazing it reduces the impact to the natural habitat for birds and other wildlife,” Shell said.
Cox Commercial Construction was the contractor selected to construct the roundabout. Senior Vice President Darren Okruhlik said, “It’s projects like this that make my job rewarding beyond measure. Blending safety improvements with the look and feel of the community is special and Hays County has done a magnificent job with this.
He said the firm is proud of the partnership and the chance to showcase its work.
“Not only do our crews work hard but everyone involved in this effort has worked tirelessly to bring these needed enhancements for driver and pedestrian safety,” Okruhlik said.
Additionally, the County worked through the design to save the beloved historic oak tree at the intersection. Keeping the community in mind while planning for and constructing transportation improvements is key in maintaining the rural character of the area while updating transportation infrastructure.
“American Structurepoint is thankful for the opportunity to partner with Hays County and TxDOT to design the roundabout,” said American Structurepoint President Rick Conner. “As national roundabout experts, it is exciting to showcase our expertise in Central Texas to help address critical issues, including road user safety. American Structurepoint knows roundabouts save lives and I look forward to Hays County residents and visitors benefiting from the work of the County and American Structurepoint.”
Roundabout benefits include more efficient flow of vehicles, reduction of high-speed accidents, environmental benefits through reduced noise and vehicle emissions, and community benefits through traffic calming and landscape aesthetic improvements.
The concept for using a roundabout at this intersection was identified during the FM 150 Character Plan process through the Citizens Advisory Panel. This is the first project identified through the FM 150 Character Plan, to be complete and the first roundabout constructed by Hays County. This is one of nine proposed roundabouts planned in Hays County.
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