AAMPO Greenlights Overpass Funding
Funding for an overpass at Loop 337 and River Road in New Braunfels got a thumbs up at a March 26 Transportation Policy Board meeting of Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which distributes state and federal transportation dollars within Comal County via short-term Transportation Improvement Plans (TIP).
Getting the $10 million in road construction funds was a top priority for Comal County and City of New Braunfels.
The overpass at River Road, part of the Loop 337 expansion project, is estimated to cost about $10.4 million and would relieve congestion at the intersection.
To review a PowerPoint presentation presented at the meeting on March 26, “FY 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program: SSTP-MM Project Selection,” click here.
The project’s technical score wasn’t great, according to a March 27 post on Comal County’s Facebook page, mainly because traffic counts at the intersection were taken outside of the summer tourist season.
The AAMPO will vote on final approval of the TIP as a whole next month.
“That it includes this important project now, while Loop 337 is already under construction, is mainly because of your support. Thank you!” the post on Comal County’s Facebook page continued.
During the public-comment period Comal County residents returned more responses than any other county in the MPO, including Bexar County, including 68 positive responses (and zero negative ones) regarding the River Road/Loop 337 overpass.
However, there were only 51 online “sign ins” and 41 responses by Comal County residents.
“Let this be a lesson in participating in local government,” says Canyon Lake resident Valerie Lynn Visser. “Forty-one people in Comal County decided on a $10M project. Don’t complain unless you are one of the 41!”
In an earlier interview, Comal County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Webb noted the MPO makes funding decisions in part based on public engagement. He serves on AAMPO’s Executive Committee and Transportation Board.
The 2019-22 TIP is expected to fund about $150 million in projects, for which four dozen proposals totaling more than $400 million have been submitted.
Loop 337 connects commercial hubs along the north end of New Braunfels, the growing west side and along the south end. A four-year road expansion project kicked off in November 2017. The $42.3 million project will create a divided roadway with two lanes of travel in each direction.
Comal County had submitted three other projects for funding – an expansion of FM 306 at FM 2673 in Sattler, intersection improvements at SH 46 and FM 311, and an overpass at SH 46 and FM 3159. The county and the City of New Braunfels listed the River Road overpass as their top priority for funding.