Austin Mayor Steve Adler and state Rep. Vikki Goodwin were among several local and state leaders in attendance for a Jan. 16 groundbreaking on a mobility project along RM 2222 that should be complete by summer 2020, according to representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“We’re real excited about this groundbreaking because it means that relief is on the way for folks who drive on RM 620 and RM 2222,” TxDOT public information officer Brad Wheelis said. “We know this is a bottleneck situation. This is a project that we were able to move on fairly quickly in construction terms.”
The $23.6 million price tag covers construction costs for the first of two major mobility projects in the area that TxDOT representatives call project 1 and project 2. Project 1 widens RM 2222 from Bonaventure Drive to Ribelin Ranch Drive and includes a center median with turn lanes.
The city of Austin is contributing $203,491 to the RM 2222 widening, money that will help fund right of way and utility adjustments needed for that project.
Rep. Goodwin, who was elected to Texas House of Representatives District 47 in November, spoke at the groundbreaking about her desire for traffic relief in Austin.
“Our traffic issues affect our quality of life, and so I’m really excited to see that we’re pushing forward,” Goodwin said.
Wheelis said the second mobility project is expected to go out for bid this summer and includes a bypass road along northbound RM 620 from roughly a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222.
“When folks are really going to notice the change is when the bypass is built from Steiner Ranch to [RM] 2222,” Wheelis said. “You’re going to have a lot of folks taking the bypass, which is going to relieve traffic on RM 620, so that north and south traffic is going to move better, and you’re going to have more green light time.”
Wheelis said the estimated cost of project 2 is $10 million, but that could end up higher or lower once it goes to bid.
During the groundbreaking ceremony Adler said he was excited for both projects, and that it represented needed traffic relief throughout the city of Austin. He noted city coffers would also supply $7.5 million total toward the RM 620 bypass and the RM 2222 widening projects with bond funds that were approved in 2016.
“I’m proud that the city as a community stepped forward to do what we see other communities around the state doing to co-invest in some of these projects,” Adler said.