STAFF WRITER 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.