2/17/2012 4:47 PM
Mr. Don Wallace, who chaired the Town Plan Evaluation Working Group, worked closely with Mr. Gilmer Gaston (an engineer with Pape-Dawson Engineers) in developing the draft proposal for Military Hwy. Mr. Wallace conducted citizen meetings, met with TxDOT representatives and others, and formulated the draft proposal from the core materials of the Town Plan previously approved by City Council.
As Mr. Wallace developed the draft proposal, he worked closely with City engineers and TxDOT. That said, TxDOT has neither approved nor rejected any feature of the draft proposal, and its representatives have always been extremely helpful in and sensitive to maintaining the rural feel of NW Military Hwy in Shavano Park. Mr. Wallace expresses his utmost appreciation to the staff of TxDOT for their cooperation and professionalism.
Mr. Gaston led the February presentation at the P&Z meeting. During the discussion phase of the public hearing, the discussion considered a few items requiring additional explanations, as follows:
1. During the presentation, Mr. Gaston projected the costs of certain development options. Although he never specifically addressed project funding, the City’s longstanding position has been that the entire cost of any NW Military Hwy. project (including the addition of hike/bike lanes and roundabouts, if any) would be borne entirely by TxDOT.
2. Several citizens questioned current NW Military Hwy. drainage issues as well as future drainage issues caused by highway expansion. Based on discussions with Mr. Gaston, TxDOT would include the costs of any needed drainage changes in their project costs, and the City would not be required to spend funds for such drainage issues.
3. TxDOT’s current right-of-way easement is 120 feet, which pretty much extends from telephone pole to telephone pole along NW Military Hwy. Although the draft proposal shows a widened roadway, all attempts would be made to save as many trees as possible and promote the privacy and quite enjoyment interests of property owners living on NW Military Hwy. In preparing the proposal, Mr. Wallace paid particular attention in locating turnabouts to minimize the impact on trees and driveways.
4. During Mr. Gaston’s presentation, he was asked if the driving time for travel between Huebner Road to Loop 1604 would increase. He indicated that with a roundabout at the intersection of DeZavala Road and NW Military Hwy. the projected driving time would increase slightly. Based on the City’s engineering study for the proposal, the draft proposal is actually projected to decrease drive times rather than increase them.
The P&Z will consider their final recommendation to the City Council at their March 7 meeting and the City Council may take up the issue at their March 26 meeting.