Lakeway continues discussion on citywide transportation study in pursuit of May bond

Serene Hills Drive in Lakeway is one of the roads mentioned by City Council pertaining to the need for a mobility study.

Serene Hills Drive in Lakeway is one of the roads mentioned by City Council pertaining to the need for a mobility study.

The city of Lakeway is pursuing a mobility study officials hope will lead to a transportation bond in May 2020.

The study was first introduced publicly during Lakeway's July 1 special session. It was in part inspired by what Mayor Sandy Cox described as issues with several roadways throughout the city, including Serene Hills Drive and Main Street, as well as unpaved roads on the east side of Lakeway.

"We've been talking about transportation for a while now, and we obviously have some of our own infrastructure work that we need to do, but we really need help looking at an overall Lakeway transportation study," Cox said during the July 1 meeting.

During its July 15 meeting, City Council took no action but decided to continue negotiating with civil engineering firm Huitt Zollars for what the city considers a reasonable price for the study.

During the July 1 meeting, council discussed a price tag of $163,000, but Council Member Louis Mastrangelo said July 16 though Lakeway is contracted with Huitt Zollars, the city may not transact the study through that firm if the cost does not meet the fiscal requirements of the city.

During the July 15 City Council meeting, Jones said he and Cox had been continuing to study which roads might best fit within recommendations for the May bond, and the initial cost of the study is not final. Over the next two weeks, Jones said he will continue working with Huitt Zollars to negotiate the actual cost.

Council voted to create a transportation steering committee during the July 15 meeting, and that body will also help guide officials on a path toward a May mobility bond. City Manager Steve Jones said the deadline to call a bond election for May is in February.

Cox said while she, Jones and city staff are homing in on a statement of work for the study, the clock is ticking, and the project needs to begin by Aug. 1. She also laid out a timeline stating once Huitt Zollars takes over the study in August, it would report on the prioritized projects and their costs during the December City Council meeting. After that, council would hear the finalized reports at the beginning of 2020.

"To my knowledge, we have not done a citywide transportation study," Cox said July 15. "It has always been in pieces, and that's why we're doing this."

The mayor emphasized that although the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the region's federally required transportation planning group, has incorporated several of Lakeway's roads within a study it is putting out, it does not encompass any of Lakeway's internal infrastructure.

"The CAMPO model can only go so far," Cox said.
By 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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