Corner of 281-1431 in Marble Falls due for demolition, widening
Engineering is underway to build a wide right-turn lane from U.S. 281 onto eastbound RR 1431 in Marble Falls, but construction won’t begin on the Texas Department of Transportation project until August 2026, said Mayor Richard Westerman.
“And that date could change,” he told DailyTrib.com.
TxDOT will purchase the Texaco station and Thai Niyom Restaurant on the corner and tear them down to make way for the new turn lane.
The total cost is expected to be about $4.27 million, $425,000 of that coming from the city. Councilors approved the expenditure in January.
“We haven’t written the check yet,” Westerman said. “It will be included in a bond sale we are planning soon.”
TxDOT decided about five years ago the corner needed reconfiguring, said Marble Falls Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel.
“The angle the corner creates is so sharp that no large vehicles can safely make a righthand turn,” he said. “The project will add more capacity at the intersection and help keep large vehicle traffic off Avenue H, which is a residential street.”
Avenue H runs behind Thai Niyom at an angle, connecting U.S. 281 and RR 1431. That street is not paved to tolerate large truck traffic.
Once started, the project is expected to take about a year to complete due to the paving needed to handle heavy-duty vehicles, Kraenzel said.
“When building any street of that kind, they have to layer it with base materials so the road base stands up to the wear-and-tear of highway traffic,” he said.
TxDOT has no plans at this point for the other three corners, although a pending sale of a couple of businesses on north Main Street next to Waymore Bait and Tackle could also change the traffic flow in that area.
The buildings now housing Art of the Meal, 1005 N. Main St., and Shades of Sonora, 1009 N. Main St., are owned by John Crawford, a longtime Marble Falls resident who now lives in Nacogdoches. He told DailyTrib.com that a potential buyer has put down earnest money on three lots (one vacant) on north Main Street but did not know what the interested party has planned.
The city was approached about putting a car wash on that strip of land, Kraenzel said, but the creek running behind it complicates new construction plans because of updated ordinances.
“Any improvements to the existing buildings or anything new would have to meet permit requirements for building in a flood plain,” he said. “The current buildings are grandfathered in.”
The busy 281-1431 intersection also holds a Burger King with a drive-through lanes on the southwest corner and a Pizza Hut-Dunkin Donuts-Baskin Robbins combination now under construction on the northwest corner.