TxDOT holds public meeting on SH 71 project in Bastrop

Improvements along SH 71 in Bastrop are coming at a price for dozens of businesses and homes.

The Texas Department of Transportation held a public meeting Tuesday evening on the project.

The big concern from people at the meeting was if this will help with how congested the highway gets and will this allow for easier access to get on the highway. Some of the changes includes a new Colorado River bridge, frontage roads and u-turns.

In order to do the entire SH 71 project in Bastrop, some people are going to have to move and changes mean several buildings are going to be 86ed. 

“It needs to be done for sure but it’s just one of those things,” said Brian Haynes, owner of Revs Motorcycle Shop in Bastrop. 

While being in Bastrop for over a decade, Haynes opened up a new motorcycle shop four years ago right off SH 71 but now it will have to go. 

“A lot of our customers donated materials and time and stuff like that it was a neat thing and so it does kind of suck to lose it a little bit,” said Haynes.

TxDOT is working to make improvements to the SH 71 corridor in between Austin and Houston. In order to do them in Bastrop 25 businesses and seven homes could be impacted. 

Haynes said he was told the project would cut right through his parking lot and go straight up to his business essentially leaving the building unusable. 

“We have been not reordering the inventory that we normally have just in anticipation for this,” said Haynes.

TxDOT said the project is to help reduce congestion along the busy highway something Haynes deals with on a regular basis. 

“Definitely needs to be done with all the people moving to this area and everything the traffic out here gets worse and worse,” said Haynes. 

While Haynes has to move, he said it’s an inconvenience he’s willing to go through if it solves the problem that is SH 71.

TxDOT said work on some of the projects along SH 71 will begin this summer. They plan to have more meetings to discuss specific areas and how they will impact people in the near future.