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Schertz city council hits the road

February 27, 2018 GMT

Schertz residents were brought up to speed on a pair of planned projects at the Council on the Go town hall meeting Feb. 20 at Ray Corbett Jr. High School.

Scott McClelland, Schertz engineering project manager, informed attendees during a presentation on the estimated $45 million FM 1518 road widening project that it will be split into two phases due to inadequate funding.

Original plans called for the widening of a 5-mile, two-lane stretch of FM 1518 from FM 78 to IH-10 to four lanes with turn lanes, an expansive raised median and pedestrian-bicycle lanes on both sides. Instead, three separate areas along the roadway will be targeted for initial construction — FM 1518 along FM 78, IH-10 to Ware Seguin Road, and Schaefer Road to Woman Hollering Road.

Approximately $19.5 million is designated for phase one of construction, with an additional $13 million already pledged by the City of Schertz and Bexar County for phase two, McClelland said.

Construction of phase one is projected to begin 2021. McClelland said phase two depends on Schertz receiving grant money from Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, plus additional funding from the city, Bexar County and TxDOT.

During the meeting, Clare Layton, a longtime Schertz resident, encouraged residents to support the FM 1518. Layton said she drives through the roadway four times a week and has been concerned about increased traffic congestion.

“My biggest concern is that the fire chief said we will get a fire truck down FM 1518,” said Layton. “But it’s a two-lane highway that is clogged during rush hour, so I don’t know how emergency vehicles are going to get through there unless FM 1518 is expanded.”

In other news, plans for a third Schertz fire station, to be built on FM 1518 and Lower Seguin Road, have hit a roadblock.

Fire Chief Kade Long told residents that the project, originally slated for a 2018 or early 2019 completion, hasn’t broken ground because of increased construction costs.

After the meeting, Long said the updated cost hasn’t been determined because the project’s design phase hasn’t been completed.

He expects the entire design phase, being conducted by Texas-based Byrne Construction Services, to be completed within the next two months.

Nine fire fighters have been hired for the new fire station, with an additional three fighters expected to be employed by April 1.

Pending Schertz City Council and Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority approval, a vacant four-bedroom house on Trainer Hale Road will serve as the new crew’s temporary headquarters starting in May, Long said.

The fire chief said he hopes the new permanent fire station breaks ground around that same time and is completed within a year.