1. The third public meeting for the Austin Avenue bridges project was held May 11, after the Texas Department of Transportation reviews the city’s technical reports on the project.
Timeline: Awaiting review of technical reports, hydrology analysis
2. FM 1460 widening
Construction continues to widen FM 1460 to a four-lane, divided road from Quail Valley Drive in Georgetown to just north of University Boulevard in Round Rock.
Pavement on the southbound lanes has been laid. High Tech Drive is closed until further notice. Texstar and Quail Valley drives serve as detour routes.
Timeline: Complete end of 2018
3. FM 971 expansion and realignment at Austin Avenue
The city completed preliminary engineering and is finalizing its advance funding agreement with TxDOT. Further work by engineers is on hold pending the advance funding agreement.
4. I-35 southbound frontage road sidewalk improvements project
The city finished analyzing bids to build a sidewalk along the southbound frontage road of I-35 between Hwy. 29 and Leander Road. A pre-construction meeting was set for late April with construction set to follow.
Timeline: Complete summer 2017
5. Southwest Bypass construction
Construction for the Leander Road to I-35 segment has begun. The city has completed a house demolition as well as a contour survey, geotechnical testing and fencing. Surveying and staking is ongoing for the construction of ramps into and out of the quarry and set to begin in June. Construction is about 70 percent complete. Beams for the South San Gabriel bridge have been set. The base course, or layer of material in an asphalt roadway was installed on the south side of the bridges. Asphalt is set to be laid in May. The base course installation on Wolf Ranch Parkway is underway with the utility crossings for the Hillwood development to be constructed in May.
Timeline: Complete mid-2018
The city is working with the Texas Water Development Board on a flood study to examine all its drainage basins, which include: Pecan Branch, Mankins Branch, Smith Branch and the three forks of the San Gabriel River. Preliminary results are complete, but the study is ongoing. The city is currently evaluating flood-mitigation efforts.
How does TxDOT prioritize construction?
Although the Texas Department of Transportation funds construction for highways and other major roads in the state right of way, metropolitan planning authorities prioritize project construction.
Texas has 25 MPOs that create transportation policy, forecast mobility needs, administer regional transportation planning, and approve state and federal funding for local and regional projects.
MPOs identify need-based projects by scoring them on safety, mobility, environmental quality, economic development, and asset management and operations. Then the MPO determines the funding and shovel-readiness of a project. If no funding is available and the project is not ready with right of way or environmental clearance, then it is shelved.
Once a project is approved by the MPO, it is added to the four-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program or TxDOT’s 10-year Unified Transportation Program.