Hays County – We’re Moving Forward!
Hays County, one of the fastest-growing counties in Texas, has implemented aggressive improvements to its roadway system to keep up with growth and allow our citizens and visitors to travel more safely and quickly. This improved and expanded road system will create new economic development opportunities in Hays County, attracting new businesses, creating jobs and expanding the County’s tax base. To keep project costs as low as possible – well aware that tax dollars are paying for road projects – the County has employed many innovative and cost-effective solutions.
In 2008, Hays County voters approved a road bond program authorizing bond financing for 30 projects throughout Hays County, the majority of which are completed. Nine projects were developed under a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) pass-through finance reimbursement program through which the County will be repaid $133 million over time as projects are completed. The County partnered with the City of Kyle and the City of San Marcos for three projects and also made use of federal dollars and State funds from the voter-approved Proposition 12 measure. Because of relatively low construction costs and interest rates and the County’s fast-track management and construction program, many of these projects came in under budget, freeing up funds for additional projects.
As these road development programs began entering their final stages of development and construction, interested citizens joined cities and the County in developing a countywide Transportation Plan which will serve as a blueprint for the County moving forward. The Plan, officially adopted in 2013, aligns needs, highlights potential partnership opportunities and helps ensure that road design and development will result in smooth transitions between jurisdictions. The Plan identified immediate, mid-term and long-term transportation needs.
The County then initiated its next roadway improvement program – the Hays County-TxDOT Partnership Program. The Partnership Program was formalized in the summer of 2013 when the Texas Transportation Commission committed $40 million of construction funding. The County’s contribution to the funding will be a combination of savings from both earlier road programs, property owner right-of-way (ROW) donations and the innovative use of a Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ) in partnership with the City of San Marcos which will use incremental increases in property tax revenue collected along the roadway alignment to help repay TxDOT for upfront construction costs.
In November 2016, Hays County voters approved a second road bond program, authorizing $131.4 million in bond financing for 25-plus projects on the county and state roadway systems throughout Hays County. Bond proceeds will be used to fund early project development and in some cases construction. The County will be pursuing construction funding through TxDOT and regional grant programs. In May 2018, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) selected eight projects (seven of which are current road bond projects) to provide some or all of the construction funding for a total allocation of $61.21 million to the County.
Hays County remains committed to addressing the safety and mobility needs of the County while enhancing opportunities for continued economic development by using innovative financing and partnerships to bring transportation infrastructure online as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
Learn more about our transportation projects and plans by choosing an area of interest from our drop-down tabs on the left navigation bar. The Hays County Transportation Plan will guide you through identified countywide transportation needs and our Funding Programs will highlight our initiative and innovation in funding road construction projects. Helpful Links takes you outside our website to related sites.