You don’t have to look very far to find signs of growth in New Braunfels and all around it.
Entire neighborhoods are sprouting up both inside the city and just outside it, with more on the way as Veramendi continues to build and Mayfair sets its table along Interstate 35. The Clear Springs area — which at one point used to basically be just Clear Springs restaurant — has become a hive of activity and new construction.
With all this growth there comes a need for infrastructure — both physical and beyond — and you can also find signs everywhere that New Braunfels is working to keep up.
Whether its new improved fire stations and a new police headquarters that voters approved in a recent bond effort or the New Braunfels Utilities projects that you can find all over the city — largely because you’re being asked to detour around them — it’s clear that keeping pace with all of the new homes, businesses and industries is a big part of what city staff and officials are dealing with.
Making sure that there are enough first responders and equipment — see the city’s recent fire truck acquisition which had a push-in ceremony this weekend — is also part of the challenge, but the one that most people are going to fixate on is traffic.
While some would prefer to see the city locked in amber — preferably sometime in the mid 1950s — people are going to keep coming. That means that the city, county and, to a certain extent, the Texas Department of Transportation, have to keep the area’s infrastructure from being overwhelmed.
At some point, the stretch of Interstate 35 between New Braunfels and San Marcos will be “done” and officials are well aware of how much of a bottleneck the intersection of State Highway 46 and Interstate 35 is. (After all, the traffic from Clear Springs has to go somewhere.)
There are other projects that are going to make a big difference in the shorter term — including the intersection work near Creekside, which is adopting a traffic pattern that will be more efficient, even if it is going to be extremely confusing at the outset. (And, honestly, probably for tourists even after the rest of us get accustomed to it.)
Will all of these projects be enough? Probably not. But there are undoubtedly more that are on the way and the current work shows that nobody is asleep at the switch.
This isn’t a “if you build it, they will come” situation.
This is a “They’re coming. You better build it.”