There's no question that College Station is a fast-growing city. But in the past, it's grown much faster than its roads. Thursday, though, the city council got ahead of potential growth on the southside.
West of Highway 6, Greens Prairie Road has boomed. Now, the east is facing a similar explosion of residential and commercial properties.
"We know the growth's going there, so this is now an opportunity for us to get ahead of that growth," said Councilmember Ron Gay.
Which, in the past, hasn't always been the case. Being proactive now the state of mind for College Station's staff and council. At Thursday's meeting, it was a unanimous vote that changed the city's thoroughfare plan in the Highway 6, Rock Prairie, Greens Prairie Triangle.
Rock Prairie is now a major arterial west of Highway 6, just as it is east of 6. That means when development heads down that street, more right of way is needed. Currently, 30,000 cars pass on Rock Prairie west of Highway 6 each day. Far fewer drive the road to the east. That will change soon.
"When you look at our north-south mobility, north-south thoroughfares, there's not a whole lot of thoroughfares that go north-south other than Highway 6, Texas Avenue, and Wellborn Road," said Ken Fogle, the city's transportation planner. "So we've learned that we need to look ahead, and plan those thoroughfares out and get the right of way that we need."
"I think that we'll see a lot of this growth happening in the next three to five years," said Gay.
Growth that will now have roads prepared for heavier loads.
Also part of the thoroughfare changes are the future expansion of Barron Road east of Highway 6, as well as some collector roads in what will become residential housing in the future.