HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Crews broke ground on a major project to improve a key road in Hays County on Thursday. 

Farm to Market Road 2001 currently connects Interstate 35 and Texas Highway 21. The project will realign FM 2001 along White Wing Trail from the curve east of County Road 118 to I-35.

The Texas Department of Transportation and Hays County leaders said safety is the leading factor in this project.

Nikki Horner, a neighbor who lives nearby, said she’s noticed traffic not being the safest in the area.

“The traffic over there at the stop sign, it always gets me every day,” Horner said. “So, I’m happy to not have to deal with that anymore.”

The FM 2001 West Project will widen the roadway from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway with shoulders.

“[The FM road] has many bends and 90-degree curves in it that really is not safe,” TxDOT District Engineer Tucker Ferguson said. “Many run off the roads in crashes going around those curves.”

Buda Mayor Lee Urbanovsky agreed.

“Once a week, there’s an accident there, because of people coming around the corner, and neighborhood people trying to pull out,” Urbanovsky said.

This $6 million project funded by TxDOT will also add a five-foot bike lane and six-foot sidewalk to each side.

“One of the benefits to this project is it is a new location,” Ferguson said. “So, we’re not going to be impacting existing traffic. As much as we do on many of our other projects, we’re going through basically fields that have no roadways right now.”

It’ll be completed in three phases, leaving leaders and neighbors excited for expansion.

“I’ve known that something needed to happen, and I think this is the best way to get the fluidity into it,” Horner said.

TxDOT said the project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2022.