Council to consider road bond to pay for citywide transportation projects

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As Georgetown Transportation Director Ed Polasek began talking about the citys transportation needs with the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board in January 2013, the discussion began to shift from what projects were needed to how the city would fund them, he said.

Over time the GTAB developed a list of projects that could be considered by voters in a road bond election.

Nothing on this list would be considered a luxury or as getting ahead of the growth, Polasek said. [These projects are to address] whats on the ground or address substandard roadways.

The GTAB recommended a bond proposal with $150 million in transportation projects, and while completing the list of cost estimates, city staff members put together a smaller, less costly alternative list with $72 million in projects. Both were presented to City Council on Feb. 11.

City Council asked staff to take the recommendations back to the GTAB and develop a bond advisory committee, which could be approved by the council in April.

[The committee] might come up with a bigger list that is somewhere in between the [staff]alternative and the list that has been supported by GTAB, Councilwoman Patty Eason said, adding that the committee could help City Council understand which projects city residents support. I like that idea because I know its worked in the past.

Polasek said immediate roadway projects needed include upgrading the Leander Road and I-35 intersection; finishing northbound frontage roads from Williams Drive to Lakeway Drive; adding a Northwest Boulevard bridge spanning I-35; and extending Rivery Boulevard.

We need proper access for continued growth, he said. Its critical so we can continue to develop. Were asking for that spine that helps support the entire [transportation]network.

Both proposals also include funding for various intersection and sidewalk improvements throughout the city.

Polasek said if approved by City Council the bond proposition could go to voters in May 2015.

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