Project change on Hamilton Pool Road significantly expands scope and cost

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The Texas Department of Transportation had initially planned to create an additional paved surface with a milled edge line on Hamilton Pool Road from Vistancia Drive to Cueva Drive. A field survey was expected to be complete by May, and then design was set to begin. The project was also supposed to be open for bids and scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.

The parameters of the project have changed, and TxDOT Public Information Officer Bradley Wheelis said the 22-foot roadway will now be widened to a 46-foot-wide section and will include two 11-foot travel lanes—one in each direction—a 12-foot-wide continuous left-turn lane and six-foot outside shoulders in each direction.

The limits have also been changed, and the project will now start from RM 12 and extend to Hwy. 71. The project is now scheduled to go out for bids in September 2020, and the estimated construction cost is approximately $12.2 million.

The original project had a construction cost estimate of $5.2 million, which would be TxDOT money, Wheelis said, adding the addition of the left-turn lane raised the estimate to $12.2 million, creating a difference of about $7 million. Wheelis said TxDOT has asked if Travis County could come up with half of the increase, about $3.5 million, and TxDOT would come up with the other $3.5 million.

Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty said he has been talking with TxDOT’s district engineer regarding the updated project.

“What I have wanted to do is get the residents ([n neighborhoods adjacent to Hamilton Pool Road within the scope of the project]to bring some money to the table, and for me to try to find perhaps a million dollars out of the county fund to put into that $12.2 million figure,” Daugherty said. “If I could get some money cobbled together, TxDOT has told me they have a better shot at finding the $12.2 million if they have participation.”

The proposed time frame to seek bids for the project was also moved from November 2019 to September 2020 to accommodate the extra design work, Wheelis said and added the limits were increased to provide the continuous left-turn lane between RM 12 and Hwy. 71.

Daugherty said he has been working with representatives from several subdivisions on Hamilton Pool Road, and they are in total agreement that they want to see the street’s center turn lane and shoulders updated. He added finding the more than $3 million portion of the project cost is still in the exploratory phase.

Beyond the potential $1 million from residents and $1 million from the county, Daugherty said the rest could possibly come from at least one large developer, though a specific developer has not been established.

“I just think that if I could pull together that money, then I think the certainty of getting that road done sooner than later is a lot more likely,” Daugherty said.

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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