Plans for Hwy. 79 improvements, upgrades continue in Round Rock
BY BROOKE SJOBERG
they do not control,” Hudder said in late July. Another mitigation eort required under state law will be highway traf- c and construction noise abatement, pending results of a noise workshop and design considerations, according to TxDOT Public Information Ocer Bradley Wheelis. The next steps in the project fol- lowing the environmental clearance will involve completion of rights-of- way acquisitions. Additionally, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is conducting a corridor study on an 18-mile section of Hwy. 79 from A.W. Grimes Blvd. to FM 619 in Taylor. That section of the highway connects Round Rock to Hutto and Taylor and is one of several regional corridors being evaluated, according to CAMPO Community Outreach Coordinator Doise Miers. CAMPO is undergoing evaluation of a number of corridors throughout the six-county region to assist TxDOT with preliminary planning and some early design and engineering,” Miers said. “With the CAMPO region grow- ing so rapidly, these corridor studies will identify needs and help prepare for future improvements.” During a July CAMPO Technical Advisory Committee meeting, con- sultants with BGE Inc. said the next steps include providing a timeline for the project. Planning and project development for the study is set for December, according to information from CAMPO.
As Round Rock and the surrounding area continues to expand, ocials are working to ensure a major east-west corridor running through the area can handle the growth and trac. The Texas Department of Trans- portation released preliminary reports Aug. 4 for a project to widen and improve Hwy. 79 from the intersection at I-35 to A.W. Grimes Boulevard in Round Rock. The 2.5-mile project will widen the highway with an additional travel lane and add an underpass at Mays Street and an overpass at FM 1460. Project work also includes adding a raised median, modifying driveways and installing shared-use paths on both sides of Hwy. 79. Information from TxDOT states the project will have no signicant impact on the existing human and natural environment beyond the relo- cation of a wall at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home at the highway’s intersection with Mays, and driveway pillars of the Henna House, a historic home located nearby. Proposed improvements to Hwy. 79 are pending the completion of right-of-way acquisition. Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder said the city asked TxDOT to provide information regarding rights of way, as the city has taken over the design of the project. “Part of what we’ve asked [TxDOT] for, as we go through the early design phase, is to help establish what right of way is going to be established that
Ocials recently proposed a plan to widen Hwy. 79 from Round Rock east to Taylor.
BROOKE SJOBERGCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
PROJECT IMPACT A report from the Texas Department of Transportation shows a project to widen and improve Hwy. 79 will have no signicant human or environmental impact. These mitigation measures are required by environmental laws, according to the report, as well as the National Historic Preservation Act. 1 Relocation of wall at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home 2 Relocation of driveway pillars of the Henna House Timeline: TBD
AFTER COMPLETION After the project is completed, the 2.5-mile stretch of Hwy. 79 running from I-35 to A.W. Grimes Blvd. will have several new features and upgrades. Ocials say the improvements will help reduce trac slowdowns, increase safety and make the thoroughfare more pedestrian- friendly. Upgrades include: • An underpass at the intersection of Hwy. 79 and Mays St. • An overpass at the intersection of Hwy. 79 and A.W. Grimes to improve mobility and safety. • A recongured intersection at I-35 and Hwy. 79. • Improved accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists.
Cost: estimated $50 million Funding source: unfunded
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SOURCE: TXDOTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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ROUND ROCK EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022
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