The Marble Falls City Council approved over $425,000 to revamp the RR 1431-U.S. 281 intersection as part of a $4.27 million project by the Texas Department of Transportation. Staff photo by Nathan Bush
The intersection at RR 1431 and U.S. 281 in Marble Falls will receive a $4.27 million makeover by the Texas Department of Transportation. The Marble Falls City Council approved over $425,000 in matching funds for the project, which will make the intersection more user-friendly for large vehicles. The vote came during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Plans for the project include realigning the two roads to ensure northbound drivers on U.S. 281 can easily turn right onto RR 1431. Currently, drivers of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks, struggle to make the turn because of the angle of the intersection.
“When (truckers) try to make the turn, they can’t if someone is in the left-hand turn lane (on RR 1431) because they have to swing so wide due to the acute angle of the intersection,” Mayor Richard Westerman told DailyTrib.com.
The city had to approve its portion of funds for the project to avoid being sued by the state.
“This is not a city project,” Councilor Dave Rhodes said. “This is a state project. We don’t have the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ That’s not within our purview. We could have said no, and they could have taken us to court.”
Talks regarding the project have been underway for over five years.
“We’ve seen it coming for a long time, so it’s been in our budget,” Rhodes said. “It’s not a surprise.”
Westerman believes the project will help prevent large vehicles from using city roadways.
“If those trucks can’t make the right-hand turn (onto RR 1431), and they need to go that direction, they’re going to use city streets, which, in the long term, will cost our taxpayers repairs on those streets when it’s really TxDOT’s responsibility,” Westerman said.
No timetable exists for when construction will begin.