With the design phase of the RM 2243—or Hero Way in Leander—project reaching completion this spring, Williamson County and the Texas Department of Transportation are preparing for construction on the first phase beginning in 2024.

Spanning from 183A Toll to Southwest Bypass, the RM 2243 project includes the widening and reconstruction of the road to address safety concerns as well as mobility and connectivity for drivers as the area continues to grow.

The project will be done in three phases with Phase 1—from 183A Toll to Garey Park—being the construction of a single frontage road, which will serve two-way traffic until the other frontage road is built in a future phase, according to the county.

Stretching from 183A Toll to Southwest Bypass, Phase 2 of the project will construct the other frontage road, leaving a median in the middle, county officials said. The final phase will include the construction of the main lanes in the median space.

Funding for the first phase of the project is available through the county’s 2019 voter-approved road bond.

As the county and TxDOT monitor the growth in the area, future phases will be constructed once the need arises, according to county documents. A funding source has not yet been identified for future phases, but possible sources include county, state or federal dollars.

The public feedback and comment period on the project improvements began April 10 and will wrap up May 10 as part of TxDOT’s draft environmental assessment. This assessment evaluates factors such as right of way, community impact, and engineering and construction feasibility.

Leander switches gears on Heritage Grove Road project

City officials decided to put the previously planned improvements on Heritage Grove Road on hold after parting ways with Cangshan Cutlery Co.

In early February, Leander City Council voted to terminate a Chapter 380 economic incentives agreement for the Cangshan Cutlery Co. headquarters project, which was arranged to be located at 204 Heritage Grove Road, Leander.

Improvements on Heritage Grove Road were a part of the planned Cangshan Cutlery facility construction, and when council voted to part ways with the company, it “changed the scope of the project,” city officials said.

The Heritage Grove Road improvements project was initially planned to make the road two lanes with a center turn lane, city officials said. It was intended to improve traffic from larger vehicles and future development. Atlas 14 information, which provides rainfall data for stormwater infrastructure, required a redesign of the road.

At the April 20 council meeting, city staff proposed to add Heritage Grove to the 2023 street rehabilitation program, which will include refinishing the surface, repairing the shoulders and filling potholes—improving the ride quality of the road, officials said.

“Heritage Grove is one of the worst roads that we have in town, condition wise, and we are trying to attract some great taxpayers out there,” Mayor Christine DeLisle said at the April 20 council meeting.

City officials said this project will be on the May 18 City Council agenda for consideration.

Bailey Lane realignment

Loop 332—which is in the process of being renamed by the city to Main Street—will be realigned to Bailey Lane, and traffic lights will be implemented, allowing residents to safely enter and exit onto SH 29. Because Liberty Hill ISD is adding 1,300 students this fall, more cars will be utilizing Loop 332 and SH 29 during peak times for school drop-offs and pickups, city officials said, and not having a traffic light at this intersection is a safety concern. Traffic studies show that drivers are turning right and making a U-turn in the middle of SH 29 since it is challenging to turn left off of the loop. The realignment of Loop 332 to Bailey Lane and adding traffic signals will improve safety and mobility on both sides of the highway, officials said.

Timeline: spring 2024-spring 2025

Cost: $1.8 million

Funding source: city of Liberty Hill

Traffic signal at South Bagdad Road and Sonny Drive

A new traffic signal was installed at South Baghdad Road and Sonny Drive in Leander along with other intersection improvements, including roadway reconstruction, raised power lines, sidewalk and curb ramp construction, pavement regrading and restriping, and a new crosswalk. Officials said despite the project facing potential delays due to supply chain issues, the city and contractors were able to get work completed quicker to enhance the safety and traffic flow at this intersection for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

Timeline: December 2022-April 2023

Cost: $566,000

Funding source: city of Leander