Construction on the Loop 82 Overpass Project has not even begun, but is expected to impact many properties and residents at Texas State for the next two years.
The overpass’ construction will begin in fall 2013 and is intended to alleviate traffic when trains approach Aquarena Springs Drive. Juan Guerra, associate vice president of facilities, said construction could close off intramural fields, the main entrance to Bobcat Village apartments, the public golf course, sidewalks, tram routes and a row of parking at Bobcat Stadium.
Guerra said the university is a stakeholder in the estimated $39 million overpass and is cooperating with the City of San Marcos and the state to make sure the project inconveniences as little as possible and is successful.
Glenn Hanley, director of Campus Recreation, said he rides his bike or walks to and from campus everyday. He does not think the overpass is necessary.
Hanley said there are more than 200 intramural and club teams that will have to be inconveniently scheduled to play on the two fields available during the construction of the overpass.
Hanley said he hopes the project will impact the fields and golf course as little as possible.
However, he is making plans to purchase four new intramural fields to alleviate the pressure on the others.
Ryan Zimmerman, assistant director of Campus Recreation, said there are many golfers who regularly use the Texas State golf course. He hopes the overpass construction does not cause the golf course to lose business.
Hanley said because the golf course is self-sustaining, he is afraid construction could deter people from playing. There is also a chance part of the access roads added during construction could encroach on the course. He said many cars could be in golf ball crossfire.
On the other side of the train tracks, Bobcat Village residents could experience noisy afternoons and different detours to go in and out of the complex during construction time.
However,, director of the said Bobcat Village residents would not be affected by construction as long as the department communicates thoroughly with its residents.
“We are going to experience a little bit of pain, but in the long run, this is a tremendous improvement for the traffic in San Marcos,” Proite said.
Guerra said when the construction phase nears the main entrance to Bobcat Village, sidewalks will be closed and the main entrance to the apartment complex could be blocked.
Proite said the city and the state are approaching the project in a “smart” way so Aquarena Springs will always be open during the construction process. She said if the main entrance to the residential apartment is closed there are other exits students can use. A secondary entrance to Bobcat Village is available on Mill Street.
Ashley Boggs, education sophomore and Bobcat Village resident, said the overpass construction will be an inconvenience and an added stress. Boggs said she will have to calculate extra time into her schedule to make it on the tram in time if the bus stop changes, and leave earlier for work on weekends.
Boggs said no one from Bobcat Village has told her about the upcoming construction project. Boggs said she only knows what her roommate found on the Texas State website.
“We are already having to deal with noise from the stadium on football games, the train and intramural fields,” Boggs said. “Construction is just going to add to it, especially when we study and sleep.”
Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for Finance and Support Services, said the Bobcat Tram route system will be affected. It is not yet finalized which routes will be affected, or when, she said.
Proite said it will be “critically important” to work with the city when freshmen move into the residence halls each August. Proite said she cannot push back move-in dates, but can change how to get future students and their parents to Strahan Coliseum.
University Police Department Sgt. Robert Campbell, who is in charge of special events, warns travelers to be patient during the construction process. He said there will be traffic signage dictating where people can go to avoid the project, but delays should be expected.
Campbell said to alleviate some of the traffic headache construction crews will not work during football games or commencement.