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County's TxDOT projects released

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: TxDOT projects for Bandera County through 2018

"I want to compliment TxDOT," said Bandera County Judge Richard Evans during a recent commissioners court meeting. "Before, they just told us what they were going to do. Now, the process has evolved to where they're asking for our input in the process. We appreciate it."
"You're our eyes and ears in the county," Texas Department of Transportation Regional Engineer Michael "Mike" Coward told commissioners.
During the Jan. 9 meeting, Jonathan Bean of the Texas Department of Transportation presented the "District Roadshow," a project list for the Rural Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) from 2015 through 2018.
Newly completed or about to be completed projects in Bandera County included widening Park Road 37 .5 miles southwest of Scenic Mountain to 1.5 miles northeast of Scenic Mountain. Seal coats and pavement markings were done on RM 187 Bandera-Kerr County line to Lost Maples; Highway 16, FM 1283 to Bandera-Medina County line; and FM1283, Highway 16 to Bandera-Medina County line.
"These improvements were done for safety enhancements," Bean said.
Total funding for all 12 counties in the Rural Transportation Improvement Program includes in 2015, $218.9 million; 2016, $136.9 million; 2017, $187.5 million; and 2018, $60.2 million.
According to Bean, the sharp drop-off of funding in 2016 and 2017 could be alleviated depending on the outcome of the next election cycle. "Another $1.2 billion in highway funds could be released," he said. The funding would come from release of the state's so-call "Rainy Day Funds."
Projects on tap for Bandera County roadways include:
Seal coating and
pavement markings
• FM 470 from RM 187 to FM 462, which includes additional safety measures
• RM 187 from four miles north of FM 337 to the Bandera-Uvalde County Line
Rehabbing and
widening narrow
• PR 37 from Bandera-Medina County Line to FM 1283
• PR 37 from FM 1283 at Bandera County Park
• Highway 16 from Kerr County line to FM 1207, widen roadway and bridge
• Highway 16 from Winans Creek Road to 2.8 miles east of FM 270, close gap where road shoulders are narrow
Bridge program
Patterson Street at the Medina River and off-system bridge replacement, which includes replacing the bridge outside Medina
During a question and answer session, Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Wilkerson asked that a sign be posted on Highway 16 South, warning of the landfill ahead. "We've had a couple of near misses," he said. "Vehicles coming off the curve going south at 65 to 70 miles per hour have almost hit trucks coming out of the landfill."
Precinct 2 Commissioner Bobby Harris thanked Coward for the work that had been done on PR 37 and the shoulder work on FM 1283. "Hopefully, we won't experience more rollovers in those areas," Harris said.
Evans wanted Coward and the TxDOT officials to remain aware of future changes in store for Highway 16 toward Boerne, specifically those around the Albert & Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area.
"There's a mile or more of highway frontage," Evans said. "We don't want to end up with traffic problems like we have at Lost Maples." He anticipated a backup with people turning into the park from the highway without a designated turn lane.
Apparently, no federal funds will be available for necessary changes to the highway, however. "It will have to be state or local funds," Bean said.
"Then it ought to be in the planning stages now," Wilkerson said.