The public meeting room at the Seguin Utility Operations Center was filled with the echoes of concerned residents as they gathered around two large maps of the proposed improvements for a portion of Rudeloff Road.
Many of them shared their thoughts and issues with the $6.9 million roadway project that will focus on Rudeloff Road from State Highway 46 to Huber Road — about 1.5 miles of roadway.
The project is expected to transform the now two-lane road to five lanes with a continuous turn lane with 10-foot sidewalks on each side of the street, Seguin City Engineer David Rabago said.
“We’re also going to be working on drainage improvements. Anyone that lives in the area knows when you get a moderate rain event stormwater tends to cover Rudeloff Road making it unsafe, potentially,” he said.
By the addition of culvert crossings, residents will be able to access the street during a heavy storm, Rabago said.
Margie and Danny Crowson, who live in a neighboring subdivision off Rudeloff Road questioned what would happen to the traffic during construction, although they are happy to see a plan for some change.
As a resident of the area for 12 years, Margie said they’ve been waiting for the improvements.
“I think it’s going to be a great improvement once they get started and get finished. It would make another way out for us because 46 is so busy that we’re looking for another way out of our subdivision,” she said. “The road is not very wide and in terrible condition. There’s a lot of potholes that need to be filled.”
The couple stopped riding their bicycles on the road because of all the potholes, Danny said.
“I don’t anymore because it’s so bad. I actually crashed one day on my bicycle because of the roughness of the road,” he said. “It’s going to be great with the extra 10-foot sidewalk on either side for jogging, walking or bicycling. That’s going to be perfect and nice.”
Kimberly Brunel, who also lives with her family in a nearby neighborhood, doesn’t believe the project is necessary.
“The noise is really loud already as it is and they want to come closer to the house so that’s our main issue,” she said. “It’s also unsafe because we have children in our backyards constantly. It’s not needed. It’s not that bad. We all think a two-way road with a center turn lane would be fine.”
However, Molly Sullivan Briscoe said the roadway isn’t what it use to be.
“I lived out there years before any traffic was on that road and it was a good place to be. The speed limit used to be 50 miles per hour that’s how long ago this was,” she said. “When the city took us in we’re seeing what happens with growth.”
While she’s not against growth, Sullivan Briscoe said it’s important proper planning is done and communication occurs.
“Proper planning and communication is key for projects like these because now that there are so many neighborhoods your multiplying people,” she said. “With the current road right now it’s repetitive potholes, which seems to be the challenge in our zip code throughout because of the population growth and it’s hard to keep up with that.”
In 2015, the city applied for federal funding through the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) for roadway construction projects in the community including the Rudeloff Project and in December 2015 they were approved.
Twenty percent of the $6.9 million construction costs will be covered by the city while 80 percent is provided by federal funding.
The city also will be responsible for 100 percent of the costs for engineering, right of way acquisition and utility relocations, Rabago said.
Construction is expected to start in 2021, he said.