Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment Available
Cibolo Parkway Project
City of Cibolo, Guadalupe County, Texas
The City of Cibolo in conjunction with Cibolo Turnpike LP are proposing the Cibolo Parkway in Cibolo, Guadalupe County, Texas. This notice advises the public that the Cibolo Turnpike and the City of Cibolo will be receiving public comment on the Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment.
The Public Review Draft EA is on file and available for inspection Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 200 South Main Street, Cibolo, Texas 78108 and online at the project website: http://ciboloparkway.org/
Written comments from the public regarding the project are request and may be submitted to Cibolo Turnpike in person or by mail to the City of Cibolo, c/o Rudy Klein, P.E., 200 South Main Street, Cibolo, Texas 78108. Comment may also be submitted to Cibolo Turnpike via the project website: http://ciboloparkway.org/contact‐us/
The City of Cibolo has requested an extension to public comments on the Public Review DRAFT Environmental Assessment for the Cibolo Parkway Project. Comments must be received on or before November 1, 2019 to be part of the official record.
Click here to download the Public Review Draft Environmental Assessment.
This is a large .pdf file (108+MB) and can take some time to download.
Myth vs. Fact
FACT – The design is—and always has been—designed to TxDOT standards. The Cibolo Parkway features concrete driving surfaces and is a two-lane facility, expandable to four-lanes when demand requires. After discussions with the city council’s Enhancement Subcommittee in summer 2018, we widened the shoulders and medians, and incorporated a concrete center divider into the design.
FACT – CTLP has been working with the city staff to schedule a formal coordination meeting with TxDOT. Because the Project will be a city road, the city must coordinate the crossings with TxDOT. We hope this coordination meeting will occur Fall 2019.
FACT – The Project has been and will continue to be a city roadway, owned by the City of Cibolo, and will not be part of the state highway system; therefore, it is not subject to TxDOT’s oversight. We must emphasize that we have spent many hours with our attorneys, and are clear as to what actions are necessary to comply with state laws, as well as, the requirements of the Development Agreement.
FACT – This is not true. The Project will be a City of Cibolo thoroughfare, developed via a public/private partnership with CTLP.
The City of Cibolo’s alignment of the road has been on the project website for over a year and a half and is specifically identified in Exhibit 1 of the original Development Agreement between the City of Cibolo and the Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC), which was executed on March 10, 2017. The alignment has not been changed since then, nor has it been contemplated. (https://www.cibolotx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1360/Cover-Memo-Dev-Agree?bidId=)
FACT – Some have inferred Cibolo will be financially burdened with a bankrupt toll road, yet have not cited one example where that has occurred to a city that has no financial obligations for a project. Cibolo’s Blue-Ribbon Committee addressed this very concern prior to endorsing the pursuit of the project. If a private toll road project was to go bankrupt, typically and historically, the bankrupt toll road sells at discount on the open market. The original lenders and investors bear the loss, not the city or state. A recent example of a toll road “failing” and selling at a discount is the sale of Sections 5 and 6 of SH 130 to a venture lead by Strategic Value Partners, with no financial burdens of any kind being assumed by any city, county, municipality or the State.
FACT – In the Blue-Ribbon Committee meetings on May 2, 2016 and April 13, 2016, TTC stated that it would ultimately follow the estimates of the Investment Grade Traffic Study, which Stantec produced at a cost of $963,914. Same as TxDOT, TTC is following the recommended estimates of the investment grade report which will allow for traffic to flow safely at 70 miles per hour. The road is being designed and right of way acquired to ultimately accommodate four lanes of traffic when demand requires it, estimated to be some time after 2040. A copy of Stantec’s Investment Grade Traffic Study was supplied to the city in May of 2018 and has been available for review.
The report submitted to the City of Cibolo was actually draft sections of the environmental study provided at their request. These sections also contained placeholders for yet to be determined sections as no onsite inspections had occurred at that time. The final environmental report is currently being completed and will be available to the city upon completion. The explanation for the preliminary report being submitted to the city was clarified in October 2018 on the project’s website: (http://ciboloparkway.org/updates/october-15-2018/).
Where is the project now?
Our engineers, Huitt-Zollars and LNV have continued with the Project’s design. They have been integral to supplying information and answers to questions that have and may come up during the bidding process. Huitt-Zollars has surveyed all of the parcels where we have the Right of Entry. As an update, only nine (9) parcels of the fifty-two (52) needed for the Project have not granted the Right of Entry. We have also, where permitted by the Right of Entry, done all the Geo-Technical evaluations that will be necessary for the Construction bidders to efficiently incorporate the soil conditions and ultimately, the pavement design into their bids.
Our environmental consultant, aci consulting(“ACI”) has been working diligently on the Environmental Assessment (“EA”) for the Project. The purpose of the EA was to identify and minimize any known environmental effects as a cause of the Project. ACI delivered the draft EA to the City for comments. Upon receiving any clarifications to the EA, ACI will incorporate the changes and finalize the EA for the Project. The EA will then be distributed to the various resource agencies. To be clear, while some landowners have not allowed us on their property for study and inspection, that has not prevented ACI from developing the EA.
ACI performed Phase I – Environmental Site Assessments (Hazmat Investigation) on properties where studies were allowed. Previously in July, the Phase I studies were delivered to the City. Performing the Phase I studies was an effort we decided to undertake to minimize Project risk, even though this was beyond the scope of our Development Agreement.
Construction Bid Process
As you will remember, on January 31, 2019, a preproposal meeting was held, and the RFP process was begun with participating contractor partners, Kiewit, Austin Bridge and Road, J.D. Abrams, Walsh/Archer-Western, and McCarthy (the “Contractors”). The RFP was issued on March 18, 2019. Initially, the design engineer Huitt-Zollars (“HZ”) provided the existing design schematic with typical sections and all design files in ‘.dgn’ format for contractor use. Since that time, HZ has then developed cross sections to determine more accurate earthwork quantities. The design has been advanced to the point where estimated quantities could now be provided for more accurate bidding. We have been able to clarify and answer any specific design questions. Their final bids are due near the end of August.
Schedule and Financial
You will find attached to this Memo a copy of the letter from the USDOT that thanks us for our June 5, 2019 application requesting an allocation of private activity bond (PAB) authority for the Cibolo Parkway and Cibolo Expressway project. It also states that the Department of Transportation has approved our bond allocation request for $200 million in PAB authority. We made an application to the Build America Bureau for this allocation and were the last group granted allocation out of a $15 billion program. This tax-exempt feature may be very beneficial to the financing structure of the Project.
Currently we are scheduled for an October 2019 debt issuance/equity issuance with a November Financial Closing.
The City sent a letter of intent to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (“CTRMA”) requesting that an interlocal agreement be developed to allow the CTRMA and/or its vendors to provide toll system services for the planned toll road. The item was discussed by the full board of the CTRMA on July 24, 2019, AGENDA ITEM #17, Briefing and discussion regarding a potential tolling systems agreement with the City of Cibolo. The agreement would be similar to the interlocal agreements the CTRMA has signed with various Regional Mobility Authorities around the state. A draft of the agreement will be sent to City for review and comment. It would be expected that all costs associated with providing the Toll System Services would be borne by Cibolo Turnpike LP as developer on behalf of the City of Cibolo’s interests. The interlocal agreement would be brought to the CTRMA Board for consideration at its next meeting.
Acquisition of ROW
As we previously reported, after the Initial Financial Closing, we had raised additional funds to start acquiring options for the Project ROW. An “option agreement” is a contract gives the right to purchase property for an agreed upon price up to a certain time frame. We are pleased to report that we have executed the first Option Agreement and Memorandum of Option Parcel #41. We are negotiating with other landowners and have numerous other offers in the queue. Our process is being handled by CobbFendley a professional engineering company specializing in ROW acquisition, along with the law firm, Ross Molinos Oliveros, PC. CobbFendley’s representatives are making offers, agreeing to a price and then documenting with the Option Agreement.
Building for the Future
Cibolo is a great place to live and everyday more people are making it their home. Since 2000, Cibolo has grown by more than 700% and is expected to continue growing with new residential and commercial developments planned and in progress. New attractions, such as the Sports Complex, are expected to bring thousands of visitors each year and help make Cibolo the “City of Choice.”
A booming population and growth in visitors means the city must plan for ways to ensure mobility and safety. Much of the growth and traffic increases in Cibolo are affecting FM 1103, making it one of the most congested roadways in the city. Residents are already seeing safety challenges and wait times increase when leaving for work or school. City leaders have been working diligently to study and find solutions to address the growing traffic demands and have been successful in gaining TxDOT’s investment to widen FM 1103.
The planned TxDOT improvements are a great start, however, this will not be enough to address traffic demands and safety as Cibolo continues to grow. Especially, the lack of north-south mobility and connectivity issues south of FM 78 between I-35 and I-10. Understanding that upgrading roadways takes years, and getting additional funding from TxDOT could take decades, City leaders looked to find a real solution through the Cibolo Parkway project.
The Cibolo Parkway project will increase mobility and safety, and help address traffic demands and congestion to the growing area, without increasing local taxes to fund the project.
October 30, 2018 – Click here to read the Cibolo Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors Transportation Position Paper
October 22, 2018 – Click here to read the letter sent to Mayor Boyle and the Cibolo City Council and the latest FAQ
October 22, 2018 – Click here to see the right-of-way map, showing the status for right-of-entries, with green representing those obtained, and red are remaining.