Chisholm Trail, Deepwood Drive, Eminent Domain, Gary Huddger, IH 35, Ranch-to-Market Road 620, RM 620, Road Project, Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission, Round Rock Texas, Stagecoach Inn, Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, Williamson County
The Texas Department of Transportation, City of Round Rock, and Williamson County, have proposed a road construction project they hope will help alleviate traffic on a frequently congested portion of Ranch-to-Market Road (RM) 620. The proposal, which seeks to improve a stretch of road from Deepwood Drive to IH 35, calls for a widening of RM 620 from four lanes to six, and advocates the construction of an elevated four lane road above RM 620.
Incidentally, the Stagecoach Inn, a historic landmark dating back to the 1850’s, located in the project’s path, would need to be demolished or moved to accommodate the construction. Reluctant to demolish the property, the Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission deferred on a decision for demolition, allowing residents an additional four-month period to propose relocation-based solutions.
One solution, put forth by the Director of the Commission, Gary Hudder, would see the Inn moved to a portion of its current property that would be unaffected by the project.
“Is it better to haul it across town somewhere? Yes. But if we can keep it somewhere close to the actual Chisholm Trail, that’s what makes the most sense from a historical preservation perspective,” said Hudder.
Hudder also noted that as it stands, the Inn currently lacks a foundation, and relocation would provide the opportunity to add stability to the structure.
Projects which impact historical sites raise the question of trade-offs between past and future, serving as a reminder that the use of Eminent-Domain can force citizens to choose between the two.