Round Rock - Pflugerville - Hutto Edition - April 2020

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY KELSEY THOMPSON & CHASE KARACOSTAS

FEATURED PROJECTS

RM620project nowunderway inRoundRock ROUND ROCK The city, in

Ramthun said crews began initial stages of work on March 1, mainly preparations for the project’s official groundbreaking. He added residents and local commuters can expect to see drainage and utility works in the upcoming weeks prior to major road construction beginning. Alex Navarro, spokesperson for TxDOT’s Austin district, said TxDOT has an outreach and engagement group in place to keep residents, local schools and business owners up to date with the construction process. Part of the outreach group’s efforts, Navarro added, will include informing area stakeholders on what they can expect from their commutes as construction progresses. “The intent here is to improve safety and mobility for everyone who lives in the area, who travels in the area, who has a business in the area,” Navarro said. “That’s really our primary goal, to increase safety and mobility for everyone in that community.” Throughout construction, TxDOT will prioritize keeping four lanes of traffic— two in each direction—open during daylight hours, Ramthun said. Initially, much of the work is expected to take place outside of current traffic patterns.

conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation and Williamson County, celebrated the start of construction on the RM 620 project with a groundbreaking ceremony March 11. Local officials in attendance said for residents and leadership alike, the official start of this construction project has been decades in the making. The improvements, formerly projected to break ground last fall, were delayed due to utility coordination, TxDOT officials said Feb. 13. The project stretches along RM 620 from I-35 to Deep Wood Drive and will take approximately 28-30 months to complete, TxDOT Regional Engineer Bobby Ramthun said in a phone interview with Community Impact Newspaper on March 9. Major enhancements to the roadway include two overpasses located over the railroad tracks at the Chisholm Trail and RM 620 intersection as well as Lake Creek Drive, a roundabout constructed beneath the bridge at the railroad tracks, and the widening of RM 620 from five to six lanes in certain sections of the project scope, with some portions along the route set to maintain its four-lane structure.

RM 620 project breaks ground. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

“For the majority of the first part of the project—almost a year—folks will still be driving more or less exactly where they are today,” he said. “They’ll see a lot of construction work going on, but they’ll still be driving the same roads they’ve been driving on.” Still, he said, drivers should expect delays with crews operating in the area. Status: An official groundbreaking cere- mony was held March 11. Timeline: March 2020-late 2022 Cost: $40 million Funding sources: Texas Department of Transportation, Williamson County, city of Round Rock

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Pflugerville reveals details onOld Austin-HuttoRoad reconstruction PFLUGERVILLE The reconstruction of Old Austin-Hutto Road, a two-lane road less than a mile long, will include the elimination of a low-water crossing near Heritage Park and the addition of a roundabout where the road curves toward FM 685, both in preparation for future development north of the road. Old Austin-Hutto Road will also be expanded to include a center left turn lane. Plans call for the extension of the sidewalk on the east side of the road that currently starts at Pecan Street and stops near Poppy Pass. Sean Barry, a project manager for the Old Austin-Hutto Road construction project, said the cost of the improvements is not yet known. He added that the project is expected to go to bid later this spring. “[The road is] very narrow. The pavement is in very, very bad shape, right?” Barry said. “So, at a minimum, it needed to be rehabbed, but widening it out to make it safer [and] having turn lanes be built in the middle really should make a big difference.” Funding for the project’s design came from a 2014 city bond, and construction funds will come from a bond passed in 2018. This is the last project to be completed on each of those bonds. The city proposed that the project take place in three phases to minimize disruption to traffic. First, the section of the street between Pecan and Poppy would be completely shut down and redone, followed by a widening of the east side of the road and construction of the roundabout between Poppy and FM 685.

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HERITAGE PARK

The reconstruction of Old Austin-Hutto Road will include the elimination of a low-water crossing and the addition of a roundabout. (Chase Karacostas/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Finally, the west side of the road would be reconstructed. In all, the construction is expected to last approximately 13 months, starting sometime this summer. An exact start date has not yet been disclosed. While construction is ongoing, the traffic pattern will be changed to northbound only, said Patricia Davis, a principal engineer for the city. Once the project is completed, city staff said the refinished Old Austin-Hutto would also be a starting point for alleviating some concerns with Immanuel Road, which Old Austin-Hutto turns into after crossing Pecan. Status: Construction is expected to begin this summer. Timeline: summer 2020-summer 2021 Cost: TBD Funding source: city of Pflugerville 2014 bond (design), city of Pflugerville 2018 bond (construction)

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 1. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT RPHNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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ROUND ROCK - PFLUGERVILLE - HUTTO EDITION • APRIL 2020

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