CIBOLO — City Council unanimously accepted a cost-sharing agreement with neighboring Schertz for $4.8 million worth of improvements to Wiederstein Road.
Under the deal, Cibolo will front $1.6 million for Schertz’s portion of the thoroughfare, while Schertz outlays $1.3 million. Fasken Oil & Ranch of Midland, developer of the not-yet-constructed Cibolo Crossing mixed-use development — which includes the newly opened Santikos Entertainment complex — is to foot the remainder.
Santikos, and its rival megaplex, EVO Entertainment of San Marcos, sit on opposite sides of Wiederstein on Interstate 35 North, adding to what was already a heavily congested area.
The accord was approved May 14.
According to City Manager Robert Herrera, 85 percent of traffic on Wiederstein traveling to I-35 consists of vehicles from Cibolo Valley Drive. Residents of the city’s Lantana subdivision fare the worst from the congestion, according to Councilwoman Jennifer Schultes, as it takes at least 12 minutes for them to exit their neighborhood.
“The citizens of District 1 suffer with that (bottleneck) every day,” she said. “I keep hearing that (it will be fixed) when (a new high school) is built, but that is not going to happen for years. In the meantime, we have a safety issue. The citizens of Lantana only have one exit. They deserve better.”
To improve matters, Wiederstein, from Cibolo Valley to the I-35 northbound frontage road, will be widened from two lanes to four with a continuous designated turn lane. Three traffic signals are to be added at Ripps-Kreusler Road and on both I-35 north and south.
Cibolo will pay its share of the cost through transportation-impact fees.
Mayor Stosh Boyle estimates construction beginning in upcoming weeks and finishing in a year. Schertz will be tasked with maintaining the road after it’s built, per an amendment made to the agreement by Cibolo officials.
In exchange for Cibolo covering a greater share of the cost between the two towns, Schertz will support renaming Wiederstein to Cibolo Valley Road.
The project was a long time coming, according to political leaders from both municipalities.
Schertz Mayor Michael Carpenter said discussions between Cibolo and Schertz regarding Wiederstein improvements have taken place since 1974. Forty-five years later, the timing was right for both cities to agree on getting the road fixed ahead of future development around the burgeoning developments.
Schertz OK’d its part at an April 23 meeting.
“We are happy to be working with our friends in Cibolo and are pleased that we figured out a way to (negotiate an interlocal pact),” said Carpenter.
Cibolo leaders shared the same sentiments.
“With all the prime development we have coming up, it is imperative that we join hands with Schertz and make Wiederstein Road right,” said Councilman Ted Gibbs.