Research and design of a project to add medians and designated turn lanes to Williams Drive began in late 2022 and is expected to continue throughout 2023.

Called the Williams Drive mobility enhancement project, the overall project aims to increase the efficiency and safety of the corridor from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road by consolidating the number of driveways and adding protected turn lanes and safety lighting, according to a Nov. 8 presentation.

Currently, a center turn lane spans the length of the corridor and more than 150 curb cuts provide access to businesses, according to the city.

“From my perspective, this is probably one of the most important and challenging projects that we are going to undertake, without a doubt,” Council Member Ron Garland said.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is providing $1.22 million of funding for the access management study portion of the project, Georgetown Transportation Manager Lua Saluone said.

The project’s first phase, data collection, began in late 2022 and will last until the summer. Then the city will spend the summer and fall analyzing the data before beginning full design of the project in late 2023.

Additionally, the city will seek public feedback on the project throughout this time, and the city plans to meet with each property owner located along the corridor.

City Manager David Morgan said because this project affects so many people who travel or own a business on Williams Drive, he expects the public engagement to be intense.

Construction will take place in subsequent phases once a design is solidified and costs are known.

The city has $10.44 million to put toward the project from the 2021 road bond; however, due to inflation, this may not cover the full project scope.

“Even if we get to the end of this [study] and ... we aren’t able to start immediately on construction, it will still be helpful for us to go through this process,” Morgan said.