08.08.08

Community Impact On SH 29 Corridor Plan

Posted in Commissioners Court, HD-20, Precinct 1, Precinct 2, Precinct 3, Road Issues, SH 29, Transportation, Williamson County at 9:48 am by wcnews

Not much actual “news” in this article, The future of Hwy. 29, for those that have been paying attention. There are some pretty maps. It also doesn’t present an alternative view, nor is there any mention of the uprising that’s occurred in Liberty Hill because of the “Nutty Road To Nowhere”. Here are excerpts:

“We felt that we really should have done this 10 years ago, but we can’t start it 10 years ago; we can only start it today,” [Precinct e Commissioner Cynthia] Long said.

“From a purely planning perspective, we are looking at the widest scenario, but that is not to say that is what it will ultimately be in every area,” she said. “Right now it is a planning study. Until you get to the actual design — once we get to a preferred alignment, based on all the input and the constraints — then you do a more detailed schematic. At that point in time, we would know more about what that footprint will look like.”

[...]

The commissioners announced a plan to remove 13 possible routes July 17, but do not plan to announce the preferred path until September. Once the route is chosen, the engineers will design a schematic, and the court will begin land purchase options with interested sellers.

Several landowners in Georgetown declined to comment on the corridor study, saying they were concerned it could affect their negotiations with the county

[...]

Others agree that if the county is going to designate the road’s route, now is the time to buy the right-of-way.

“The positive side of buying right-of-way now is it will be way cheaper today than it will be in the future,” state Rep. Dan Gattis said. “The negative side of it is that if you say, ‘This is where our corridor is going,’ and don’t actually purchase that property, then really you’ve harmed those property owners. Then they can’t ever sell their property. You can’t do that to people.”

[...]

“TxDOT should be out here designating and buying right-of-way and everything else,” Gattis said. “The county shouldn’t have to do it, but the county can’t wait for TxDOT to get its business in order.”

The commissioners agree that TxDOT should be in charge of this project, but even with the cutbacks, this project was not on the agency’s list, Long said.

“This is not one [of the projects] they had planned, but northern Williamson County has been largely underestimated in terms of population growth,” she said. “We live it and see it every day, and that is why we took the lead on this — so that we could do this study and identify where the road alignment needs to be in the future.”

Landowners don’t want to talk, I wonder why that is? This may be the first time Dan Gattis, Jr. has commented on SH 29 in the press. He does an excellent job of showing how this plan benefits the county and harms the current property owners. But beyond that, and blaming/scapegoating TxDOT, he offers nothing constructive. It would have been nice to find out what he thinks about the plan, if he agrees with the corridor plan and how the county if proceeding so far. Maybe next time.

2 Comments »

  1. gregry17 said,

    August 9, 2008 at 9:47 am

    What a disappointing article by this community newspaper. Little Gattis says the county can’t wait for TXDOT to get its business in order. I can’t disagree more. Sometimes its better to actually represent your constituents Little Dan. Slow down, smell the roses, demand TXDOT get its #$%^&* together. Do not just create more sprawl in an energy descent American landscape. If you haven’t noticed, gas prices are through the roof. People are in pain, many in dire straits. Every nutty road to nowhere we decide to build, robbing our people of their land, shutting out the voice of our citizens, creates a huge distrust of government. I hope people see through this veil of lies. It appears to me that Valerie Covey and Cynthia Long are just foot soldiers for Little Dan. Vote for Jim Dillon. He will provide honest representation.
    Vote for me. I don’t take kindly to being told what to do.

    Check out my plan for a pilot program for mass transit at
    http://www.windhamword.blogspot.com/.
    The reckoning comes November 4. I hope you are all campaigning hard.
    Right now it appears I’m going to have to get by with a little help from my friends.

  2. wilcowatcher said,

    August 17, 2008 at 8:12 am

    The General Manager of the Community Impact Newspaper is a former Wilco Deputy Sheriff:
    http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=18855905&fromSearch=31&sik=1218856392705&split_page=4&rd=in&authToken=O1_s&authType=OUT_OF_NETWORK&goback=%2Esrp_4_1218856392705_in

    Draw your own conclusions.

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