Alternate routes proposed to keep large trucks out of downtown Marble Falls

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS

Marble Falls City Council

Large construction trucks crossing Main Street in Marble Falls have been a safety concern for the City Council, so Police Chief Marc Whitacre presented alternate truck routes during the council’s regular meeting June 4 for members to consider. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Two pedestrians in the past 60 days have been hit by vehicles near US 281 and Second Street in Marble Falls.

That sobering statistic from Marble Falls Police Chief Marc Whitacre caught the attention of City Council members during their regular meeting June 4.

City Council had previously asked the police department to study alternate routes for large trucks so their drivers could avoid the downtown area.

Many construction trucks moving through downtown are hauling materials to and from commercial sites. For decades, trucks from J.M. Huber Corporation have made dozens of trips per day across Main Street to the plant on Avenue N.

Whitacre approached businesses about preferable alternate routes, especially J.M. Huber, and came up with two possibilities.

One would be for trucks to turn west at the light on Sixth Street then travel Avenue J to Fourth Street and over to Avenue N. The other would be for trucks to go north to Broadway Street, over to Avenue N, then south to the plant.

More complex and longer-term plans include working with the Texas Department of Transportation in the coming months or years to install or move a traffic light to Broadway and US 281.

The truck route would affect trucks with a gross weight of 18,000 pounds or four or more axles.

“J.M. Huber Corporation would be affected but also (the city’s) public works and parks department, Hill Country Recycling, and the other is the school district with their maintenance yard on Industrial (Boulevard),” Whitacre told the council.

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company on Industrial also could be affected, according to Whitacre.

Other than trucks, Whitacre said many vehicles that take Second Street west are using it as a bypass of the US 281-Ranch Road 1431 intersection.

Council took no action from the discussion but gave an informal consensus to the chief and city staff to go back to the companies with the two proposed routes.

In other action taken by City Council:

• Members voted unanimously to declare the city’s intent to annex 317.31 acres west of US 281 and north of Texas 71 that was part of a development agreement with property owners signed in 2012. The agreement was for the city to postpone annexation for up to five years. The entire property is surrounded by Marble Falls city limits. Two public hearings will be held in July with adoption by the City Council scheduled for August 20.

• Members passed three resolutions related to a development at Gregg Ranch. City Council will have a hearing June 18 to levy assessments.

jared@thepicayune.com

7 Responses to “Alternate routes proposed to keep large trucks out of downtown Marble Falls”

  1. FiftycalTX says:

    Maybe we could have a multi language program to teach people to not walk in front of moving vehicles? Or would that be too much work?

    • M1a says:

      So let me get this straight. You what to move truck traffic from the strait route to huber. Because of Pedestrian safety. But you what to move the big trucks though Residential streets were more people and kids mite be? Who is running this town? Is there anyone with Common sense anymore

  2. Steve says:

    Putting in a light at 281 and broadway in general will cause more traffic problems due to the short distance between Broadway and the 7th Street light. I can only imagine trying to dodge the trucks coming over the hill when you are headed south bound and want to turn left onto 7th. Also the longer the distance the larger trucks have to travel the more the upkeep on the roads. 6th street is a better route but not my much.
    Basically these proposals are just shifting the truck traffic onto other areas that are Not downtown which is what these changes are all about.

  3. John says:

    If y’all would of made ave N wider when y’all moved it. It could of been the truck route. But that would of be common sense that the city doesn’t have.

  4. NotJustHypocritical says:

    Sobering statistic? Seriously? Now our own local news and city are participating in fake news?

    How many of these 2 pedestrian accidents involved the truck traffic being targeted? How many were due to alcohol? don’t remember hearing and truck hitting anyone. Do remember hearing a drunk pedestrian was hit. Why are we not talking about redirecting establishments selling alcohol away from downtown to ensure pedestrian safety? Seems like misdirection here.

    OMG something happened so we a reason to change something unrelated that we wanted in the first place. Like, I dunno, forcing people out of their waterfront homes instead of helping them protect their assets as citizens and neighbors?

    Wasn’t it the City yelling are valid legal industry doing business out on 281 about being a good neighbor? Wake up… obviously it’s onlly a one way street. City has begun pushing to far and their motives are transparent. Vote them out. Long serving people need to retire. The actual citizens of this town need to take it back from the theiving tactics being used against them.

    • Steve says:

      You are correct in what’s truly happening in this town. But seriously vote them out? This city has not had an election in 4 years and you know why. NO one wants the job in general unless you are 100% progressive. How often do you ever hear of any council member voting No on any issue? With the issue that came up about buying those two homes by the lake only one member voted against it and 3 members weren’t even at the meeting.

  5. Les Fenter says:

    This problem has been growing for some time. But Huber trucks and 2nd Street are not the problem. They are just examples of the problem. IMHO, the problem is too much through-traffic on HWY 281 in Marble Falls. This includes, but is not limited to: MANY autos, various LARGE trucks (& 18-wheelers), RVs & autos. We should work toward a more comprehensive solution. That means a downtown bypass route. Smarter, better-informed people than I are considering this. May I suggest a route East of 281? Of course there are development plans near town. BUT the longer we wait the less viable this option will be as it may require encroaching on Lake Travis. As US 281 is a US highway, maybe our Congressmen and Senator could help. Maybe Troy Fraser or Dr. Buckingham could help. Question is: Who’s got the ball? Who should have it?

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