Cedar Park OKs $34 million of Williamson County cost-share agreements for four transportation, parks projects

Cedar Park City Council met via videoconference for its May 14 meeting. (Screenshot city of Cedar Park)
Cedar Park City Council met via videoconference for its May 14 meeting. (Screenshot city of Cedar Park)

Cedar Park City Council met via videoconference for its May 14 meeting. (Screenshot city of Cedar Park)

Cedar Park City Council approved $34 million of transportation and park improvements through interlocal cost-share agreements at a May 14 meeting.

The four projects include Toll 183A frontage roads, the widening of Whitestone Boulevard, the extension of Toro Grande Boulevard and a trail connection and pedestrian bridge over Bell Boulevard.

Assistant City Manager Sam Roberts said these interlocal agreements were triggered by the 2019 Williamson County bond, which included $412 million for road projects and $35 million for parks projects. The city recommended four projects to the county in April 2019 for bond funding. Three projects, not including the 183A frontage roads, were turned into these agreements.

For each project, the city and county will divide costs, according to estimates. The four projects include the following.

  • 183A frontage road project: city will pay $4.7 million; county will pay $2.8 million

  • Whitestone Boulevard roadway project: city will pay up to $4.067 million; county will pay up to $4.067 million

  • Toro Grande roadway extension project: city will pay up to $3.58 million; county will pay up to $10.74 million

  • Pedestrian bridge project to connect Lakeline Park to Twin Lakes Park: city will pay up to $2 million; county will pay up to $2 million

The 183A frontage road project is estimated to reduce travel time between Avery Ranch Boulevard and Whitestone Boulevard by 10 minutes during peak times, Roberts said.

Roberts said the the Texas Department of Transportation approved the frontage road project in May 2019. In April, however, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization placed the project on a proposed deferred project list in an effort to funnel $633 million toward the I-35 improvement project.

Roberts said the local funding will improve the project's score among the proposed deferred projects, and the interlocal agreement will overmatch what TxDOT agreed to pay in the project.

The estimated $75 million project would include $7.5 million from the approved cost-share agreement. TxDOT will cover 20% of the project. The 2015 bond election authorization funds the city's $4.7 million cost share.

The Whitestone Boulevard project will widen the four-lane road between Bagdad Road and Anderson Mill Road to a six-lane road. This is the final RM 1431 widening project, Roberts said.

The estimated $8.135 million project does not include construction funding, which the city is seeking from CAMPO or other project funding sources. The city is funding its 50% portion through the 2015 bond election authorization.

The Toro Grande Boulevard project will cost $14.3 million, and Cedar Park will cover 25% of the total cost with the 2015 bond election authorization. The project is a 1.1-mile, four-lane road that extends Toro Grande Boulevard from RM 1431 to Parmer Lane.

"A major plus of this project is it will open up development activity for some very large, prime pieces of real estate," Roberts said. "So it will be a very good economic development attractor for that corridor."

The parks project will connect Twin Lakes Park to Lakeline Park with a trail connection and pedestrian bridge across Bell Boulevard. The project costs an estimated $4 million, and the city will pay for 50% of the costs with funding from the city's Community Development Corp. (Type B) and a previous parks bond authorization, Roberts said.

Roberts said the pedestrian bridge has been discussed for over 10 years. He said the $2.5 million bridge is expensive because it needs adequate clearance for large trucks to pass underneath.

"It's going to be a statement when you drive into Cedar Park on Bell," Roberts said.

Roberts said all the projects will improve traffic congestion and safety and promote economic development on key parcels of land.
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in Feb. 2020. She covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils.


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