West Lake Hills announces Bee Caves Road right-of-way acquisition project

West Lake Hills City Council authorized Mayor Dave Claunch and city staff to begin acquiring right-of-way along Bee Caves Road at its regular meeting Aug. 28. The acquisition of the right-of-way is necessary for the planned expansion of the roadway.

The expansion will be implemented by the Texas Department of Transportation using funding from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The project will include widening the roadway to add a center turn lane and adding sidewalks for pedestrian traffic. The initial phase of the expansion will run from Bulian Lane to the western edge of the Eanes Elementary School property.

"I'm excited to receive the City Council's approval to move forward with this critical infrastructure project," Claunch said. "This represents a significant step toward improving safety and relieving congestion on Bee Caves Road."

West Lake Hills staffers have been in discussion with area property owners for the past two years regarding the potential acquisition.

In 2012, the City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the mayor to offer a package of redevelopment incentives to the property owners in exchange for donations of right-of-way, including higher limits on impervious cover and front setback lines.

The remainder of the rights-of-way were purchased by the city. The amount spent by the city on those purchases was not released.

Bee Caves Road in West Lake Hills was identified as one of the most congested roadways in the region by a 2011 CAMPO traffic study.

Once the right-of-way has been acquired, utility companies will be required to relocate their equipment to areas outside the new right-of-way. That process is expected to take up to a year, followed by construction of the roadway improvements by TxDOT.