Crystal Falls Parkway improvements continue in Leander

Developers have called the intersection of Crystal Falls Parkway and US 183 the epicenter of Leander, and in October the third installment of construction—dubbed Phase 2B—will round out nearly a half-decade of road improvement projects.

City Engineer Wayne Watts said the city must work with Capital Metro and the Texas Department of Transportation to finish the road improvements —which include rebuilding curbs, drainage systems and adding dedicated turn lanes—because the road segment contains a railroad crossing.

"That's a complicated area as far as the rules and regulations, safety design, signal timing and other issues," he said. "Because we are working in other entities' right of way that have significant control and rights, we have to play by their rules."

When the city gets approval from Capital Metro, Watts said the lowest-bidding contractor will execute the project, using subcontracted specialists to complete work on the railroad crossing.

"We considered making it three phases, to go from Leander Drive to the railroad right of way, and maybe while we are in the process of that, we can get the CapMetro right of way," he said. "It may be that we have to shut that intersection down for a period of time and detour traffic to FM 2243."

However, Watts said based on input from City Council, staff will wait until it gets final approval from Capital Metro and TxDOT to start construction this fall.

"Council expressed they'd rather do it as a single project and wait a little longer," he said.

Crystal Falls Parkway improvement phases

Phase 1

  • Ronald Reagan Boulevard to Toll 183A
  • Started: February 2009, now complete
  • Cost: $3.5 million

Phase 2A

  • Toll 183A to Leander Drive
  • Started: May 2010, now complete
  • Cost: $3.1 million

Phase 2B

  • Leander Drive to US 183
  • Started: expected to begin October 2012, six-month construction period
  • Cost: $1.25 million

Source: City of Leander

By Emilie Lutostanski
Emilie reported on education, business, city and county news starting in 2009. After a stint as a radio reporter and writing for the Temple Daily Telegram, she joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2011. In 2013 she was promoted to editor of the Cedar Park | Leander edition, covering transportation, development, city and education news. In February 2015 she advanced her passion for online media and was promoted to manage digital content, metrics analytics, and quality assurance as well as branding and social networks in various inaugural roles at the company, including community manager and digital managing editor. Most recently in 2017, Emilie expanded her responsibilities to include sales support as Community Impact's first digital product manager. She oversees digital product development, enhancement, and monetization strategies; online content innovation, processes and efficiencies; and company-wide training for Community Impact's digital offerings.


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