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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 28, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas $888 IN COUPONS INSIDE! $1.50—- Ciinflau _ WMIIMMJNew Braunfels AUGUST 28,2011 herald-zeitung.Gom SERVING NEW BRAUNFELS SINCE 1852 FATE OF SOUTH SEGUIN AVENUE UNDERPASSTo widen or not Council to decide whether underpass will be preserved or replaced E«ective today AIR QUALITY Healtli Alert ByGrtgBowtn The Heralcl-Zeituhq The little rdilro.vd underp.iss on South Soguin Avenue has served New Brtiun-tels since But (ity counc il on Sept. h will be asked to dec ide whether the Our View ■ Blocking the South Seguin Avenue underpass widening project would be a shortsighted move by the city. Page 4A t vv o -1 a ti e underpass should be )reserv('d or )e replac ed with a tour-lane structure better able to handle the c ity's increasing trattu count Not surprisingly, residc'nts t ome down strongly on both sidc's ot the issue. Soni(' say the undersizc'd underpass must go, because» it sntirls trattic on one ot the main thoroughiarc's through the hc'art ot town, floods when the' storms <onx', is the scc*ne ot many Imder-benders, and b(>cause -alter a ?2-year wait — the state tunding u>r the [)rojec t (s iin.illy c'XjKH ted to Ix'come <ivailabl(' next month. But others s.iy the little underp.iss must stay lx*c ausc* It is \\ historic edifice, lull of (harm and character, and that th(> "traffic c aiming" — to use a phrase borrowed trom munic ipal plannc'rs — It cmgenders is a good thing that c reates ii more pc'clcs-t r I a n -111 CMi d IV c‘ n v i ro n m e n t tor the shops downtown and their c ustomers. Mayor (ialc' Pospisil said she hiisn't yc*t clc*c idc'd which siclc' of the argument she c omes down on. "I'm rc'ally still dcH iding. t'vc' liad a lot ot people contact mc', [)artic ularh from downtown and some ot the historical groups, like* the Heritage Soc iety and the C onsc'rvation Soc iety, that have ex[)ressc'(l a desire to leave* it like' it is," Pos})isil said. "But I've also lieard from a lot of other fX'ople who have said, 'VVe need to take cidvantage ot this op|)ortuni-ty to wicien the undc‘r()ass.'" The* mayor (oncludc'd: "I have rc-al mixc'd feelings." More input is ex[)ected: lhc‘ Nc'w Braunfels Down-town Board is schc*duk*d to disc uss the underpass at its m('c‘tingat I l; U)a.m. Monday at ('ity I iail. Widen it One big rc^ason to move forward on widening the See UNDERPASS, Page 8A This artist's rendering shows (he widened South Seguin Avenue underpass. New Braunfels has been trying widen underpass for decades Photos tjy LAURA Md(EN7iF : Hersid Antiiny Tratlic begins to get heavy shortly after 5 p m. Thursday at the Seguin Avenue railroad underpass in New Braunfels Underpass area a frequent site of accidents New Braunfels Police officer: Area ‘a higher>than*average crash location’ By Dalondo Mouttrie The fterald-Zeituiig Kc'tusing lo wc'igh in chi vvhc'thc'r the* undc‘r[)ass in the* H(H) blcK k ot South S<*guin Avc'nue should Im' c hangc>d, New Brauntc^ls Policc' Department's trattu specialist I t. i-jeath Purvis said (rashes occur at the' strc'tc h of road morc> otten than othc'is. "That undc‘rpass arcM is a highc>r than-average crash location," Purvis said. "WhcMi I sav 'area,' I mean those» thrc'c' blocks (the 700, 800 and 900 bloc ks ot South Seguin)." The 700 block ol South Seguin is vvlu'rc* thc' post offic is, thc' 800 lilock is under the* train tracks, and tlu' 900 block IS where' Comal ('ount\ Ap[)raisal District is. So far this year, the* "area" is tic'd with the- 800 block ot lc*xas Hvvy. 4() tor fourth-highc'st numbc'r ot crashc's with 14, Purvis said. "Somc'timc's those* ac c idcMits arc* hap-[KMiing IxH ,iuse they are c h.vnging lane's to get rc'ad)' to go unde>r tlie under(wss or traffic has bac kc'd up on a hc'avy da\ (and drivc'rs are) running into the> back end ot the' c ar," he said. "Anytime' you take a busy thoroughfare tli<vt has two lane's that come bac k down into one, ihc're arc' going to !)c' some' Ir.iffic issue's as a rc'sult ot that. A look at the history behind the efforts to widen the Seguin Avenue underpass ■    New Braunfels City Council passed Resolution 79-R8 Feb. 12, 1979, asking the then-Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation for “immediate need of improvement tor traffic safety purposes and to improve traffic flow on the South Seguin Avenue (SH 46 Business) Missouri Pacific Railroad Underpass to substantially improve clearances in height and width." ■    The city, Chamber of Commerce and county jointly submitted priority projects to the now-Texas Department of Transportation (Transportation Improvement Project or TIP) for 30-plus years beginning in the 1970s. The underpass project was consistently on that pnority list all those years. ■    City Resolution No. 9341 6 dated Feb. 22.1993, asks TxDOT to pri- Flooding is an issue with the underpass, as witnessed by this car abarh doned dunng the June 9, 2Q10 flood. oritize the underpass via widening it. City offers leftover money from a 1985 bond issue as seed money or a match ($46,000). ■ City Resolution 9847 dated Oct. 26,1998, executed rigtit-of-way acquisition with TxDOT for the widening of South Seguin Avenue at the Missouri Pacific Railroad underpass. City paid $82,000 toward the match. TxDOT then spent hundreds of thousands of dollars toward planning of project over the next 10-plus years. By the numbers Wrecks in the 700, 800 and 900 blocks of South Seguin Avenue (the area of the underpass): ■    Ihrough Aug. 29, 2009    29 ■    Through August 2010    11 ■    To date 2011: 14 SOURCE: New Braunfels Police Department The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued an Air Quality Health Alert (AQHA) for today at the orange level for the Greater New Braunfels area. The TCEQ recommends that individuals with chronic lung disease such as asthma and emphysema, the elderly and young children should avoid exposure for the duration of this Air Quality Health Alert For information, visit ► IRENE UPDATE Storm weakens but sti* NAGS HEAD, N.C.(AP) Wc'aker hut still nuHiac itig, I turric ane* lrc*ne' kn< k ke'el out |)ovvc'r atiel pic’ts in Noitli ( arolina, c lohhc'rc'el Virgitri.i with vvinel ariel churne*cl uj) the’ c oast Saturday to e on tre )iit c itic'S inorc' ae c ustomc'e ) to snowstornrs than tropic al Storms. Nc*\\ York ( it\ eMiip tie»(l ils strc*e>ts anel ‘^llhwa\s and waite'd. VVilfi most ot Its trans port.ilion niac hineT\ shut down, thc' f astc'rn Sevil)e)ard spc'nt the' d.iy ne'rvousK watc hing the' storni's niare h ae ross a swiith e>t the* nation inh.ibitc'd hv ()> niillie)n [)e'()pl(>. See IRENE, Page 9A WEATHER, 10A MAKAYLA SUAREZ LONE STAR ELEMENTARY Could be a record day High: 110 Low: 70 SHAWN LEWIS | Herald-Zeitung araphic See WRECKS, Page 8A AMy_______ Classifieds....... Comics GfQSMfiidi_____ Foiura_____ Obituaries Planner ..... TV 10 _JC _____SC ...... JA 6D Vbl. 1581 No, 249 4 sections, 28 pages 56825 00002 $150 THE INSID scoo UNICORN LANDS RECORD FISH When New Braunfels High School fishing team member Andrew Gumberland pulled a strange-looking fish from the depths of the Guadalupe River, he had no idea It was a state record that would earn him a $10,000 scholarship. — NEWS.2A For breaking news, sports and traffic follow us on Twitter ONawBraunfelsHZ THE MOUNTAIN MAN WAY He's visited with many a Boy Scout troop and school-age group, and it would be nice if Joe Wolf was in a classroom every day making a history presentation. The modern-day mountain man lives and breathes the history he studies. — LIVING, 10 iri Become a Nevy Braunfels Herald Zeitung Facebook fan at facebùok.conV STALLINGS. COZART WIN Josh Stallings was caught by complete surprise on Saturday, when he held off San Marcos' Frankie Torresto take first for New Braunfels in the varsity boys division, and Smithson Valley's Anna Cozart made it a local sweep at the Unicorns Gross Country Invitational. Stallings — SPORTS, IB Sign up for daily e-newslettei by visiting the ^ Herald-Zeiting online STAGE II WATER RULES Watering with a sprinkler or landscape irrigation system is allowed once a week, before TO a.m. and after 8 p.m., based on the last digit of the address: ■    0,1 Watering day is Monday ■    2,3 Watenng day is Tuesday ■    4,5 Watering day is Wednesday ■    6,7 Watering day is Thursday ■    8,9 Watering day is Friday Watering with a hose, soaker hose, bucket or drip irrigation system is OK before 10 a m and after 8 p mftiúHTCiia ONipmet 1212 830-606-3451 » 725 IW»3S Sount » Walwit Ekt, New    Shop OwilNE 24/7 § VAmARKCWEVY.COM AN ;