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Chihuahua Street improvements in concept phase

Chihuahua Street improvements in concept phase
Project Engineer Chad Gardiner of Halff Associates presents a concept for improvements to Loop 321 to La Vernia at an Aug. 24 "stakeholders" meeting.

“Development is jumping over Loop 1604 and coming our way,” La Vernia Mayor Robert Gregory said Aug. 24 at a meeting at City Hall.

“We need to reach a consensus of what we want,” the mayor continued. “If we do nothing, values won’t be what you think they’ll be.”

The meeting, billed as a stakeholder briefing, took a look at possible improvements the Texas Department of Transportation may make to and alongside Loop 321 -- Chihuahua Street in downtown La Vernia.

Clayton Ripps, advanced transportation planning director for TXDoT’s San Antonio district, emphasized that coming up with concepts for the corridor is a partnership between the department and La Vernia.

“Everything we’ve done [in developing concepts] we did with consideration of what we heard from the community,” he said.

Project Engineer Chad Gardiner of Halff Associates, on contract with TXDoT, presented the major portion of the briefing, which included alternative concepts for improvements.

He noted that at a meeting in March, stakeholders voiced a preference for street parking over additional turn lanes, more continuous sidewalks, and better drainage. These were incorporated into revised concepts, which dropped a proposed alignment of Bluebonnet and Seguin roads across Chihuahua Street.

The revised concepts offered choices for additional crosswalks, access roads, drainage easements, and more street parking.

“These are all options to get you to say what needs to be done,” Gardiner said. After a decision is made to go ahead with a concept, the project will require design development and preliminary environmental studies.

“You did a marvelous job of incorporating ideas from the first meeting,” LV Pump & Supply owner Keith Johansen said. “I like this so much more than the original concepts.”

Ripps added that although the state would provide funding for the project, such funding has not been earmarked. He added that when the project is completed, TXDoT can turn the corridor over to the city, which would benefit both the department and La Vernia.

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