After months of discussion, community outreach and data collection, Leander council has finally decided to close the low-water crossing portion of CR 177.

How we got here

During a five-day period in October, city staff gathered traffic data near the low-water crossing and the intersection of CR 177 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Officials said the data collection revealed that with the existing, local traffic in the area in addition to the two planned developments nearby, the closure of the road would provide some relief to daily traffic counts.

Most of the daily traffic in these two areas are from drivers using the road to cut through rather than the regular, local traffic, Public Works Director Gina Ellison said at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting.

Offering input

Nearby residents and those affected by closure came to voice their concerns or support for the closure.

“If the city closes the bridge, all of our trips will require going to Ronald Reagan [Boulevard], and trying to get on Ronald Reagan—even during off peak traffic times—can be very problematic,” said RG Thomas, a resident who lives near the low-water crossing.

A resident adjacent to Thomas’ property on CR 177 was in favor of the closing.

“With all of these new homes coming in, the traffic would be so unbearable that we wouldn’t even be able to leave our street,” she said.

Lena F. Simon, another nearby resident, said the road cannot support the amount of traffic that is predicted, citing dangerous conditions.

“It appears those who oppose are for personal reasons, not to prevent a serious collision, collapse of the bridge or death,” she said.

Notable quote

“I remember when Leander was a really small town, and I appreciate these nice little two-lane roads and the one-lane bridges—makes you feel like you’re still in a small community,” council member David McDonald said. “Unfortunately, our growth has exceeded our infrastructure—I know we’re just experiencing our growing pains. I’m in favor of this closure.”

The action taken

Council voted in favor of city staff's recommendation of shutting down the low-water crossing immediately to prepare for inclement winter weather, according to city documents.

The plan is to close the road by changing signage, using barricades and updating all navigational systems. Ellison said it is estimated to cost the city $1,250.

City staff also recommend closing the CR 177 southbound turn lane at the Ronald Reagan Boulevard median; however, council did not approve this action. Council agreed to first observe traffic flows after the low-water crossing is closed.