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Every day, more than 1,000 people move to Texas. The City of Cibolo has a front row seat to the impact of this high population growth on the state. Cibolo is located in the heart of what the State Demographer calls "the Golden Triangle," an area that is expected to be 80% of the 27 million additional citizens Texas is forecast to gain by 2050.
New Texans mean more people on our already congested roads. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, transportation infrastructure challenges facing the City of Cibolo is high traffic volume and congestion along and adjacent to the FM 1103 corridor.
Residents of neighboring communities are currently utilizing FM 1103 to bypass IH-35 and connect to IH-10 due to high levels of congestion on the interstate system and alternative thoroughfares during peak traffic times.
The development of a high-capacity roadway passing through Cibolo that connects IH-35 with IH-10 will improve the City's transportation infrastructure system and provide much-needed connectivity between two of the nation's major transportation corridors.
In 2006, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) commissioned a road study of FM 1103 to consider realigning and extending FM 1103 to IH-10. Unfortunately, future TxDOT funding was not available for this project. The study was performed by RJ Rivera and Associates, Inc. and finalized in November 2007.
The City of Cibolo is working closely with TxDOT and the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) to come up with a plan to expand the FM 1103 corridor.
The extension and realignment of FM 1103 to IH-10 was formally recognized in 2006 by the City Council and was incorporated into Cibolo's Future Land Use Map and Future Thoroughfare Plan and our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) over the last ten years.
One idea is to develop the Cibolo Parkway, a 7-mile long extension of FM 1103, beginning at the existing interstation of Wagon Wheel Way and FM 1103. The roadway will extend south through a "greenfield" route and connect to IH-10 at the existing Zuehl Road overpass.
The benefits to Cibolo of this infrastructure improvement are clear. Not only will it decrease congestion and improve traffic safety in the community, it will provide new economic opportunities. The Cibolo Parkway will have over 2,000 acres within a quarter-mile of the roadway where commercial development could thrive, adding millions to the City and school district tax base.
While the Governor, Legislature and voters have approved billions in additional state funding dedicated to new road construction in the State, the reality is that these additional resources still are not enough to address every transportation need throughout the state.
The estimated cost of this project is $110-125 million. However, due to budget constraints, TxDOT and the AAMPO have indicated that the necessary funding to address FM 1103 fully will not be available for 20 years.
This puts Cibolo in a difficult position. While the City is not able to finance this necessary expansion at this time, the City cannot afford to wait. Every year that goes by in which a plan is not put into motion to address these infrastructure needs, construction inflation will drive the cost of the project up, along with congestion and citizen frustration.
Cibolo is at a crossroads - wait for available state funding to be made available to address today's pressing transportation needs at some point in the future, or take control of the City's destiny and use innovative means to deliver this project now.
By entering into public/private partnership and building FM 1103 as a tollway, Cibolo could jumpstart the FM 1103 extension project, with construction complete in as early as five years, at no financial cost or risk to the City. While the City of Cibolo would own the road, a private partner would provide financing, design, planning, construction, maintenance of operation of the project for a contracted period of time, thus assuming all of the associated risks.
At every step along the way, the City of Cibolo would be in control of the project. The determination of where the project would be built would be driven largely by the City's land use plan, as well as projected future development. The City would also control the land acquisition process and share in the revenues.
Toll rates would be set in accordance with the approved regional toll policy, which includes predictable, modest increases on a biennial basis.
Public involvement will be a critical component of this project. The Cibolo Parkway will be a success if it is a project that the citizens of Cibolo decide they want built and that they want it built sooner rather than later.
To find more information about The Proposed Cibolo Parkway Project, you can view the Table of Contents.