Mayor's Update: HWY 281 Expansion Pt. 2
I understand there is a growing concern regarding the recently announced TxDot HWY-281 expansion. You are not alone; this is concerning to us as well. I love our town's history and charm and will work diligently to protect it. I promised to be transparent during my campaign and will continue this throughout my term. On May 23, TxDot held a stakeholder meeting regarding the US 281 Corridor Project from US 290 to Comal County Line. TxDot provided an update on the 281 corridor study and give an update on the relief route. Blanco County Judge Brett Bray was in attendance along with Blanco Councilmember Connie Barron, Blanco City Administrator Warren Escovy, and myself. TxDot requested for the presentation to remain confidential which they are entitled to under law and policy until their Kick-Off event in the fall. However, I felt it important to provide citizens with as much information regarding this situation as possible and quickly! I began planning a Town Hall event for our citizens to learn more about the expansion. I spoke with TxDot and instead of using their presentation, they offered to develop a “roadmap” for us to share, explaining what they’ve got in the works for HWY 281 Corridor and the relief route study. A time frame for public meetings and other significant milestones was also included in the “roadmap.” TxDot did not have to share any information and did so TxDot did as a courtesy, and their early disclosure to our leadership gave us time to get organized and start prepping strategy. I created a presentation based on their “roadmap” and other public information that had been gathered and made available for the public. This fall event is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Blanco High School cafeteria. We appreciate the open communication that we have had thus far with TxDot and will continue to work with them to protect and support Blanco. I understand that there have been rumors in the past about an expansion and a possible “bypass.” According to TxDot, there has never been a relief route study for our town which is why we requested the study in early 2022. The results of this study are not in at this time, but as soon as I know anything new, I will let everyone know. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to work together; call and write letters to our state representatives, attend the TxDot meetings, etc. This should not be dividing us, we should be uniting to do what we can to protect our beloved town.
-Mayor Rachel Lumpee