FM 1626 North Construction Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is 1626 being widened?
Existing FM 1626 is a narrow two-lane roadway with intermittent left turn lanes and virtually no shoulders. It is a major regional commuter route providing access from northern Hays County to employment centers in Travis County and locally provides access to schools and churches along the corridor. Traffic has increased from 2,600 vehicles per day in 1985 to 16,200 vehicles per day in 2015, and is projected to increase to 30,000 vehicles per day by 2035. The roadway has been the site of fatalities, and numerous minor and major collisions over the years. The FM 1626 Safety Expansion Project will improve safety and mobility by adding a travel lane in each direction, widening travel lanes, providing shoulders, and separating left turning movements from the through travel lanes with the addition of a continuous left turn lane through most of the project length and medians in certain locations. Where needed, a 30-foot clear zone will be established to help with site distance issues. Additionally, dangerous curves and low water crossings that have been subject to flooding in the past will be removed with the minor realignment of portions of the roadway and the addition of bridge structures.
- Who is responsible for and who is paying for this project?
FM 1626 is an element of the Pass-Through Finance Program Agreement executed between Hays County and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The County is responsible for preparing the construction documents, acquiring the needed right-of-way, relocating utilities when necessary, advertising for construction bids, awarding the construction contract and managing construction. TxDOT initiated project development and was responsible for preparing the environmental clearance document, conducting the environmental Public Involvement process, and securing environmental clearance. For the improved section of FM 1626 from Brodie Lane to RM 967 which is now open to traffic, TxDOT will reimburse the County a total of $36.4 million over time, based on the number of vehicles using the roadway. From RM 967 to FM 2770, TxDOT will reimburse the County a total of $35.3 million over time, based on the number of vehicles using the roadway once the roadway is open to traffic.
- What improvements are planned for FM 1626 north of Brodie Lane?
Travis County entered into a Pass-Through Finance Agreement with TxDOT in 2012 to expand existing FM 1626 north of Brodie Lane to FM 2304 (Manchaca Road) to a four-lane with a continuous left turn lane with shoulders facility. By working through an environmental assessment, the project was issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in February 2016. The County is currently negotiating right-of-way purchases and utility companies are relocating existing utilities. Construction is anticipated to begin in Winter 2020 and be complete in Summer 2022. The total project cost is anticipated to be $12.2 million. Travis County is responsible for the design of the road and right-of-way acquisition. TxDOT is responsible for the construction.
- Hays County’s portion of FM 1626 crossed the Hays County/Travis County Line. How did Hays County do work in Travis County?
Hays County entered into an Interlocal Agreement with Travis County to have the necessary authority to construct improvements in that portion of the project.
- Who do I contact to get more information?
You may contact Hays County Precinct Two Commissioner Mark Jones,
5458 FM 2770
Kyle, TX 78640