Referring to the needs for the bypass route, Atascosa County Commissioner Bill Carroll, Precinct 4, said, “It’s entirely just a safety issue involved here, not only for the residents of the county and city of Pleasanton but even for people who are from outside the county.”
Carroll continued, “We’re getting a lot of feedback from the service companies wanting to know when it’s going to be complete.
“TxDOT is in the initial stage of installing traffic lights on State Highway 97 where it intersects with the enlarged County Road 431 Bypass route. The concrete’s been poured. The poles haven’t been set yet on 97 but I expect that very shortly. They’re supposed to be completed at that intersection in September. It’s the same company that’s doing the work on Bryant Street by the school in Pleasanton.
“We’re getting more businesses that are locating out there on the bypass route. Universal Pressure Pumping, Inc, Mountain Supply and others, some presently having slabs poured. We also have DRH Construction locating at the intersection with Humble Camp Road. It’s a trucking firm.
“The western portion of 431 is in very poor condition. It has hills and valleys and ground has shifted and so forth through the years and isn’t in good shape as it exists now. We want to redo it to where it’s uniform throughout for the safety issue. The road will be more level and in better condition after paving.
“This is a county road that we’re maintaining and it’s really good that we have it as a bypass route.”
Comm. Carroll said “We’re in the phase now where we’re preparing for Karnes Electric to put in new utility poles on the bypass route. The contractor has already been notified and we’ll be working on that portion of the roadway soon.
“We’re actually getting a good bit of traffic on the road already. People are finding out where it takes everybody to and that there’s no traffic lights, no stopping and starting, and so forth.”
Jourdanton VFD Chief David Prasifka spoke with me and had this to say, “If we ever get called to fight fires south of Pleasanton with its fire department in the 281 area, that’s the way to go. By using the bypass route we take out having to drive through Pleasanton on those fire calls.”
Prasifka continued, “I’ve told the firemen that once the bypass route is fixed to where it’s a straighter shot, it’s going to be beneficial when we’re called out to assist the Pleasanton Fire Department on 37-281.”
Atascosa County Commissioner Lonnie Gillespie, Precinct 1, said, “On 281, on any given day, that traffic that’s coming from the south heading north, when they want to turn onto 97 at the Dairy Queen in Pleasanton, they have a problem manuevering there. Soon, they’ll have the option where they can take that bypass.
“If I was a truck driver who’s normally coming through Pleasanton, instead of getting off on 97 and coming through town and working through all the traffic lights and congestion, I’d just soon go the extra few miles, not that far out of the way, then turn down Leal Road and connect to 281 and get on the bypass road. Truck drivers will appreciate that.
“Once they know that bypass is there, they will start using it. And if they get it set up on a GPS and that GPS takes them that way, it’s a ‘no brainer’. It’ll work out a whole lot better.”
There are ten traffic lights to go through coming in from the north side of Pleasanton, progressing through 97 West.
Pleasanton Fire Chief Chuck Garris said, “About four years ago the Plesanton and Jourdanton City Councils approved an agreement to fight our area fires jointly. This measure was taken because of our departments being short-handed due to a lot of the volunteers taking jobs in the oil industry.
“The two departments combine to get enough people to do the job when called.
“The bypass will also relieve some of the traffic in town where we might not have as many incidents as we have at the present time.”
Garris continued, “One of the concerns that I have as Fire Chief of Pleasanton is the added needs with all of the oil-related businesses coming in on the bypass route.
“But essentially, the bypass will help the Jourdanton Fire Department get to wrecks and other calls south of Pleasanton when they’re aiding our department.”
Coming through Pleasanton is slow and dangerous for Jourdanton firemen due to all of the traffic lights and congestion they have in getting to cooperative fire calls in the Pleasanton area.
LEON ZABAVA is the Oil and Gas Editor of the Pleasanton Express. He can be reached at 830.281.2341 or email@example.com