1. I-35: The Texas Department of Transportation broke ground on several projects on I-35 in 2016 as part of its $4 billion Mobility35 program to improve the highway. The state agency plans to complete standalone projects that will make a significant impact on mobility as funding becomes available.
• 1A — 51st Street: TxDOT began construction in September on a roundabout at the southbound I-35 frontage road and East 51st Street intersection. Other improvements in the area include ramp upgrades and adding a southbound intersection bypass lane beneath the 51st Street overpass. On Jan. 8, TxDOT closed the southbound-to-northbound turnaround bridge for reconstruction. The turnaround bridge will reopen in early April. The $16.5 million project will be complete in early 2019.
• 1B — Oltorf Street: The project includes rebuilding the Oltorf Street bridge; improving entrance and exit ramps and frontage roads; extending entrance and exit lanes; and adding northbound and southbound U-turns at Oltorf. Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations will also be improved along the I-35 frontage roads in each direction between Woodland Avenue and Woodward Street. Construction on the $42.6 million project begins in February and will be complete by early 2020.
• 1C — US 79 to SH 45 N: In July, TxDOT began construction on braided ramps—where one ramp crosses over the other—to remove merging and weaving conflicts on the I-35 northbound main lanes between Hester’s Crossing Road and RM 620. An extended northbound entrance and exit lane will provide drivers with more time to accelerate and merge onto the highway. The northbound ramps between SH 45 N and RM 620 will also be modified. The northbound and southbound frontage road intersections at I-35 and US 79 will also be reconstructed, and a third left-turn lane from westbound US 79 to southbound I-35 will be added. Crews are now building retaining walls and footings for the bridge as well as widening the roadway at I-35 and US 79. The $28.1 million project will be completed in
• 1-D — Parmer Lane: The construction of a diverging diamond intersection—in which traffic is temporarily diverted to the left side of the roadway to facilitate better left turns and through traffic—is designed alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection of Parmer Lane and I-35. The project also includes operational improvements at the Lamar Boulevard and Parmer intersection. TxDOT anticipates starting construction on the $25 million project in late 2018.
2. Loop 360: In February 2016, TxDOT began work to add an extended entrance or exit lane to each side of Loop 360 from south of MoPac to north of Walsh Tarlton Lane. The $6.44 million project also includes adding a third left-turn lane from the northbound MoPac frontage road to northbound Loop 360. The new lanes opened in December, but final paving will not be done until this spring. The state agency is planning additional improvements to Loop 360 between MoPac and US 183 to add overpasses and underpasses at major Loop 360 intersections to eliminate traffic signals. Construction on some of those projects is several years out.
3. Toll 183A expansion: Design of the Toll 183A expansion from Hero Way in Leander to Hwy. 29 near Liberty Hill kicked off in late 2016. The Mobility Authority is reviewing phasing options to add tolled lanes to the highway. Construction would take three years and is expected to begin after the design and public input process end around mid-2018. Total project costs are still being finalized.
4. MoPac: The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority opened the first section of the MoPac express toll lane in October between northbound RM 2222 and Parmer. The express lane charges a variable toll based on the amount of traffic in the express and main lanes. The rest of the toll lanes between Parmer and Cesar Chavez Street will open in the first half of 2017. The project cost is $204 million.
Local Projects in Georgetown
The project will build the Southwest Bypass and Wolf Ranch Parkway extension, which will connect Hwy. 29 at D.B. Wood Road to Leander Road. Williamson County will continue the bypass from Leander Road to I-35.
Timeline: June 2017-mid-2018
(city portion); early 2018 (county
portion to break ground)
I-35 frontage road sidewalks
The city of Georgetown could break ground in early 2017 on a sidewalk along the southbound frontage road of I-35 between Hwy. 29 and Leander Road.
Timeline: spring 2017-summer 2017
Mays Street extension
The city of Georgetown broke ground in late October on a project to extend Mays Street from Teravista Parkway and Bass Pro Drive in Round Rock to the intersection of Westinghouse and Rabbit Hill roads in Georgetown. The project is expected to help with economic development efforts in the area. Williamson County has plans to extend Mays north from Oakmont and Paloma drives in Round Rock.
Timeline: October 2016-summer 2017