Transportation Updates

Transportation Updates

Transportation Updates Little Elm Trail[/caption]

1. Little Elm Trail

The city of Cedar Park experienced eight days without rain in May, which delayed filling in existing gaps on Little Elm Trail between Lakeline Boulevard and US 183, said Jennie Huerta, the media and communications manager for the city. The project includes adding right-turn lanes on southbound US 183, Lakeline and the existing portion of Little Elm. The city is in the underground utility phase of construction, which includes the installation of storm, sewer, water, electric and gas lines.
Timeline: December 2015-early 2017
Cost: $7.06 million
Funding sources: city of Cedar Park ($2.98 million); Cedar Park Community Development Corp., also known as the 4B Board ($550,000); Williamson County ($3.53 million)

2. East Whitestone Boulevard pass-through project

The city of Cedar Park, the Texas Department of Transportation and Williamson County are collaborating to reconstruct Whitestone Boulevard into a six-lane, divided roadway from Market Street to Sam Bass Road. In May, rain delayed crews, who are widening Whitestone from four to six lanes and lengthening turn lanes on Whitestone to Toro Grande Drive as well as Raley and Sam Bass roads, Huerta said. According to the city of Cedar Park, 70,000 vehicles per day use the intersection of Whitestone and Parmer Lane/Ronald Reagan Boulevard. At a Williamson County Commissioners Court meeting May 17, Commissioner Valerie Covey said this project shows why the county needs alternative routes.

As of June 3, construction of the median between Market and Toro Grande is scheduled to begin soon. The project also includes a rebuilt intersection of Whitestone and Parmer/Ronald Reagan. Upon completion the new intersection will be a continuous-flow intersection.
Timeline: August 2014-August 2016
Cost: $22 million
Funding sources: city of Cedar Park (TxDOT will reimburse 80 percent of actual construction costs), Williamson County

Transportation Updates Cypress Creek Road/Lakeline Boulevard[/caption]

3. Cypress Creek Road/Lakeline Boulevard intersection

The project includes adding extended dual left-turn lanes and widened existing left- and right-turn lanes on north- and southbound Lakeline Boulevard, which includes adding a lane to a bridge on Lakeline. Crews will soon begin construction to add medians to Lakeline, and the additional left-turn lanes on Cypress Creek will open once the ends of the medians on Lakeline are modified.
Timeline: June 2015-June 2016
Cost: $2.2 million
Funding sources: city of Cedar Park, Williamson County

4. Old FM 2243 widening

The city of Leander is widening Old FM 2243 from two to five lanes, including a center lane, between US 183 and a location west of North Lakeline Boulevard. City Engineer Wayne Watts said the amount of rain received in May could extend the project by 30 days, but no official extension has been made. As of June 3 crews were working on installations of dry utilities and will continue for the next couple of weeks. Watts said the dry utility companies, such as AT&T, Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable, Grande Communications and Pedernales Electric Cooperative, will then begin to place conduit rods. Watts said crews will add overhead electric lines on the south side of the roadway, and the transmission line on the north side will stay in place above ground because of a PEC easement about 100 feet away. Watts said it is possible crews will be able to place the PEC distribution lines underground in the future.
Timeline: Jan. 4, 2016-October 2017
Cost: $24 million (estimated)
Funding sources: city of Leander, Williamson County (50 percent or up to $9.15 million)

5. North Bagdad Road expansion

Crews are widening Bagdad Road from two to fire lanes, including a center turn lane. City of Leander Engineer Wayne Watts said the city was previously building the project between Old FM 2243 and CR 280, but now will reduce the scope of the project to finish the roadway at Collaborative Way. Watts said the project engineer, H.W. Lochner Inc., discovered additional right of way acquisitions the city would need on northbound Bagdad between CR 280 and San Gabriel Road and south of CR 280 on the west side of Bagdad. Therefore city staff decided not to go through the process of acquiring additional right of way. The project will include new storm sewers, sidewalks and utilities on both sides of the road. In August the project is expected to go out for bids, but Watts said as of June 3 the sidewalk project would have to be bid separately since Williamson County obtained funds from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Since those are federal funds, they have extra requirements, such as environmental requirements, that non-federal funded projects do not have to meet. Construction could begin on the project in late September or early October.
Timeline: September or October 2016-March 2018
Cost: $13 million (estimated)
Funding sources: city of Leander, Williamson County (50 percent or up to $4.9 million)

Transportation Updates

By Caitlin Perrone
Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.


Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.

Cedar Park has canceled its Fourth of July pop-up parades. (Courtesy Unsplash)
Cedar Park cancels Fourth of July pop-up parades

Cedar Park has canceled its Fourth of July neighborhood pop-up parades across the city.

Williamson County has now recorded 2,388 total COVID-19 cases, including 1,342 that are currently active. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County reports 49 additional confirmed coronavirus cases July 2

Currently, 107 patients are hospitalized and 32 are in intensive care, per the report.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

In the course of a month, the number of patients admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 has increased more than fivefold, according to Austin Public Health data. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Deluge of new COVID-19 cases forces Austin-area health officials to limit testing, shift tracing strategy

Fighting antiquated fax machines and a sharp rise in the demand for testing, officials said contact tracers are not able to get in touch with residents quickly enough to prevent the spread of the virus.

Leander mayor calls special council meeting July 7 after high volume of public comment requests

The one-item agenda includes an ordinance to extend the city's disaster declaration, which would expire July 8 without council action.

CommunityCare Health Centers drive-up coronavirus testing site
CommUnityCare will no longer test asymptomatic people for COVID-19 as testing demand swells

CommUnityCare Health Centers is now only testing individuals who show symptoms, those who have a known exposure to the coronavirus or those with other existing health conditions.

Daley Home + Design focuses on new home construction and furnishings, large renovations and furnishings and room updates. (Courtesy Kasey Van Daley)
Interior design business Daley Home + Design relocates to Cedar Park

Daley Home + Design moved from Georgetown to 3000 Polar Lane, Ste. 301, in Cedar Park in June.

The H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks will not take place this year due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. (Courtesy Ricardo Brazziel)
Read the latest on 4th of July celebrations in Central Texas

Area cities have canceled or modified their Independence Day events.