Texas 71


Vandals damage Packsaddle Mountain battle monument

Connie Swinney/The Highlander

Vandals have knocked down the Packsaddle Mountain Fight historical monument, seen here on Friday, Oct. 18, just off Texas 71 adjacent to CR 309 in Llano County. The 1936 Texas Centennial marker commemorates the last battle between area settlers and Indians in the region on Packsaddle Mountain in 1873. Over the years, criminals have removed the bronze center star wreath in 2015 and spray-painted a racist message on the marker in 2017 which had to be restored by a contractor for the Texas Historical Commission.


Horseshoe Bay renames RM 2147 for outgoing Mayor Steve Jordan


Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander

Horseshoe Bay Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Gary, left, congratulates Mayor Steve Jordan after the city council voted unanimously Oct. 15 to name Ranch to Market Road 2147 from Ferguson Road to Texas 71 after Jordan, who championed the widening of the roadway during his tuenure in office. The council also appointed a new fire chief, Brent Batla. For these stories,see the Tuesday, Oct. 22 edition of The Highlander.


TxDOT tightens rules for highway traffic impact assessments

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
TxDOT will require more stringent requirements for determining traffic impact by commercial businesses (such as the US 281 mining operation entryway pictured here) and residential development located off state highways including US 281 and Texas 71 in Burnet County.





Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

To keep pace with growth and safety needs, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will require more rigorous assessment of how commercial and private development traffic patterns will impact the roadways.

Within the last decade more than half a dozen aggregate mining-related businesses have developed along the Texas 71 corridor in Burnet County. Along with commercial ventures, a number of private residential developments are carving out their places in amongst mining locations.


Crews put US 281 road work into high gear in Marble Falls

Connie Swinney/The Highlander

A $7.3 million road safety improvement project is under way along US 281 from the 2147 East intersection to the Texas 71 intersection. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the project is adding a continuous left-turn lane and widening shoulders. Officials said the project will take approximately 18 months to complete, starting from the time motorists could see preparations taking shape three months ago in the form of caution barrels and land clearing in the right-of-way.


DPS troopers take aim at New Year's Eve traffic violators

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
DPS troopers, along with other agencies, will be out in force on New Year's Eve on roadways throughout the Highland Lakes including Texas 71, Texas 29, U.S. 281 and FM 1431 to monitor road safety and catch motorists for safety belt violations, speeding, failure to maintain proof of insurance and drunk driving.





From Staff Reports

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is warning New Year's Eve revelers to stay sober and following traffic laws or face starting the new year with jail time and fines.

DPS troopers will be out in force on Texas 71, Texas 29, U.S. 281 and FM 1431 throughout the Highland Lakes area Dec. 31 and Jan 1.

The agency is targeting drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators and other dangerous drivers.

"The holidays are a wonderful time of year, and it's up to each and every Texan to be responsible behind the wheel so that everyone makes it home safely to their family during the holidays," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Along with other law enforcement partners across the state, DPS will be out in force to identify and remove dangerous drivers from Texas roadways this holiday season."


Llano man killed in early morning accident

A Llano man was killed early Friday morning in a one-vehicle accident on Texas 71, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report.

The accident occurred at 5:45 a.m. Friday about seven miles east of Llano. A 2006 Chevrolet Malibu P4 driven by Robin Magrath Lacey, 52, was westbound on Texas 71 when, for unknown reasons, Lacey's vehicle traveled off the roadway to the right and then he overcorrected to the left.


Richardson man charged with Texas 71 Vega deaths


A man who investigators believe caused a crash which killed two people in November on Texas 71 near Spicewood may have had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

Blanco County Sheriff's deputies now have charged Bala Chandra Sekhar Gutti, 29, with two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the deaths of 46-year-old Cynthia Ann Vega and her 17-year-old son, Santiago, a senior at Lake Travis High School.

Gutti, of Richardson, currently is being held in the Blanco County Jail. The Nov. 28, 2016, accident had occurred in the small corner of Blanco County that sits between the borders of Burnet and Travis counties.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28, on the steep, winding stretch of Texas 71 three miles east of Spicewood. Sgt. Robbie Barrera, Department of Public Safety information officer, said 911 calls had been coming in from motorists observing a 2015 Subaru “speeding and driving erratically.”


Plats being developed for Gregg Ranch community at 281/71 intersection

Gregg Ranch, which will be located near the intersection of US 281 and Texas 71, will be the largest master planned development in Marble Falls with 700 homes on more than 240 acres when completed.

By Lew K. Cohn

The Highlander

Managing Editor


Traffic congestion on US 281 needs to be addressed


The Highlander

Managing Editor

I listened with interest to the presentation last week on the City of Marble Falls' comprehensive plan, which has been updated through the work of Halff Associates along with the City Council, Economic Development Committee and a Comprehensive Plan Action Committee (CPAC).

One of the more interesting topics which came up as Robert Halff presented the plan was traffic and transportation through Marble Falls, especially on the U.S. Highway 281 corridor. I was especially encouraged when I heard discussion about the possible development of alternate routes to US 281.

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