Many ongoing and upcoming transportation projects are in the works in the Lake Travis-Westlake area

The intersection at RM 2222 and RM 620 could see a reduction in traffic due to a project to create a bypass road from about a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
The intersection at RM 2222 and RM 620 could see a reduction in traffic due to a project to create a bypass road from about a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

The intersection at RM 2222 and RM 620 could see a reduction in traffic due to a project to create a bypass road from about a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Ongoing Projects

1 RM 2222 improvement

This project on RM 2222 covers 1.2 miles and will widen RM 2222 from Bonaventure Drive to Ribelin Ranch Drive. It will also include installation of a center median with turn lanes within the project limits. The groundbreaking ceremony was held Jan. 16.

Status: The project remains on schedule. The contractor is currently working on the new storm sewer on RM 2222 between Ribelin Ranch Road and McNeil Drive. Utility work continues with new water lines being installed. Paving is underway to switch traffic, according to TxDOT Public Information Officer Bradley Wheelis.

Timeline: January-summer 2020

Cost: $23.6 million (construction); $203,491 of that total comes from the city of Austin.Funding sources: Texas Department of Transportation, city of Austin

2 RM 620/RM 2222 bypass

According to TxDOT, the project consists of adding an outside northbound merge lane along RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard to a new bypass road to be constructed about a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. Center turn lanes and medians will also be built on RM 2222 between the new bypass road and RM 620.

Information from TxDOT states the department conducted a study indicating that by 2020, travel times within the RM 2222 corridor between RM 620 and Ribelin Ranch Drive will increase by 40%-59%, thereby necessitating the need for improved mobility. The proposed improvement analysis from TxDOT also states the change will help maintain safe access to and from the schools located north of RM 2222 and McNeil Drive. Status: Wheelis said the project went out for contract, or let, in July, and there are no updates beyond that.

Timeline: Estimated groundbreaking for the project should occur sometime this fall, and the project is anticipated to be complete summer 2020, according to TxDOT.

Cost: $10 million (estimated)

Funding sources: TxDOT, city of Austin mobility bond

Upcoming Projects

3 Bullick Hollow left-turn lane

A mobility project to add a left turn lane on Bullick Hollow Road where the road intersects with FM 2769 has completed the design phase, according to information provided by staff from Travis County. The lane will run from FM 2769 to 400 feet south of the Bullick intersection. Information from Travis County’s project webpage states the project was set to begin in fall 2020, but project manager Chiddi N’Jie said the project will now begin much sooner, even with some recent delays.

Status: N’Jie said construction for this project was initially scheduled to start in September but was delayed and began Oct. 7. It is expected to last about three months, weather and site conditions permitting.

Timeline: fall 2019-TBD

Cost: $240,000

Funding source: 2017 Travis County bond funds

4 Bee Caves Road landscape development

A project to conduct aesthetic improvement of a portion of Bee Caves Road running from McConnell Drive to Blueridge Trail is ongoing. The effort is part of the TxDOT Green Ribbon Program to upgrade the road’s landscaping and scenery, according to Wheelis.

Status: The project is still in the design phase, but Wheelis said overall, the project is still on track.Timeline: fall 2020-spring 2021

Cost: $400,000

Funding source: TxDOT

5 RM 620 medians placed through Lakeway

Lakeway officials are planning to meet with a TxDOT district engineer to discuss the installation of medians along RM 620 as it runs through the city. During an Aug. 12 budget work session, Mayor Sandy Cox said the median installations could begin within the next six months, but no time frame has yet been established. Cox said the median installations are planned to be done ahead of the massive RM 620 widening project that will take the road from five lanes to six lanes and for which construction is scheduled to begin by 2022.

Status: City of Lakeway Communications Director Jarrod Wise said city officials are still evaluating the project, and there is not yet a time frame for when the project will begin. Wheelis said from the department’s side the interim median work is still in the planning stages, and there is not yet a timeline for construction or established project limits.

Timeline: NA

Cost: NA

Funding source: city of Lakeway; TxDOT

6 Hamilton Pool Road safety improvements

Construction has begun for phases 1A and 1B of a multimillion-dollar project to improve Hamilton Pool Road between RM 12 and the east top bank of the Pedernales River. Information from Travis County states phase 1A encapsulates safety improvements on the road that include replacement of the bridge over Hamilton Creek and 1B involves the addition of turn lanes at the entrance to the Hamilton Pool Preserve.

Status: 1A should be complete by the end of November, and 1B is substantially completed with a few items remaining, including those related to erosion control and revegetation. Project manager Chiddi N’Jie said that because both projects are under the same contract, neither project can be declared complete until both are finished. This means that all work may be declared complete by the end of November.

Timeline: spring 2019-winter 2019

Estimate cost: $2.5 million

Funding source: 2017 Travis County Bond

7 Hamilton Pool Road pavement expansion project

The Texas Department of Transportation was slated to create an additional paved surface with a milled edgeline on Hamilton Pool Road from Vistancia Drive to Cueva Drive. Earlier in 2019 Wheelis said the project scope has been changed. 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 6-foot outside shoulders in each direction. The project limits have also been changed, and the work parameters will now run from RR 12 to Hwy. 71.

Status: Wheelis said the cost estimate has risen from $12.2 million to $16.2 million, and TxDOT has identified its share of funding and is waiting on local funding. In October, Precinct 3 Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty said he is still working to find more funding for the project.

Timeline: The project is still scheduled to go out for bid in September 2020

Estimated construction cost: approximately $16.2 million

Funding sources: TxDOT, Travis County

8 Thomas Springs Drive and Circle Road left turn lane

This project adds a left turn lane on Circle Drive onto Thomas Springs Road. Project manager Chiddi N’Jie said the intersection was becoming very dangerous due to congestion and unsafe driving, and the left-turn lane will help alleviate these issues by adding individual lanes for drivers turning left and for drivers continuing straight.

Status: Design is scheduled to be complete by the end of November, and construction is scheduled to start in September 2020.

Timeline: Sept. 2020-Spring 2021

Cost: $592,900

Funding Source: 2018 Travis County certificates of obligation

9 Tumbleweed Trail drainage improvement

The Tumbleweed Trail tributary to Lake Austin project is a 2017 bond-funded project in Travis County Precinct 3. The location of the improvement is at the low-water crossing on Tumbleweed Trail about 500 feet west of Cuernavaca. It is a culvert-replacement project intended to improve the conveyance capacity of runoff at the low-water crossing and to reduce the frequency of predictable floods that may result in overtopping of the road as determined by the Atlas 14 study that came out in late 2018, according to project manager Chiddi N’Jie.

Status: The design phase is 30% complete. Design should be complete in February 2020

Timeline: Sept. 2020-December 2020

Cost: $370,000

Funding source: Travis County 2017 bond

10 Lakeway citywide transportation study

The city of Lakeway has commissioned a study centered on possible road projects needed within the city. The study, approved during a July 29 special meeting, will entail the identification and inventory of possible road improvement projects, the estimation of project cost estimates, and public outreach that includes a page on Lakeway’s website and an open house.

Lakeway City Council commissioned civil engineering firm Huitt-Zollars to carry out the study, and the company has identified several candidates for road projects, including Serene Hills from Flintrock Road to Lakeway Boulevard, Main Street between RM 620 and Lohmans Crossing Road and a connection from Clara Van to Meadowlark streets.

Status: City of Lakeway Communications Director Jarrod Wise said city staff will be compiling data through November from an Oct. 29 open house on the study at the Lakeway Activity Center.

Timeline: The timeline issued by Huitt-Zollars for the study is constructed so the city can issue bond language by the deadline, which is 90 days prior to the May 2020 election.

Cost: $127,950

Funding source: City of Lakeway

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. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.