In order to stay on track for a fall 2023 completion, the Capital Metro board of directors approved an additional $750,000 in funding for the design-build contract for CapMetro’s proposed McKalla Station rail project—part of the larger Project Connect—during its meeting on May 22.

In March 2022, a $20.8 million design-build contract with civil contractor Stacy and Witbeck Inc. was approved. According to agenda documents, the contract includes the station’s platforms, canopies, accessibility, other amenities, and relocation and upsizing of a wastewater line.

During the May 22 meeting, Kenneth Cartwright, CapMetro’s vice president of facilities and construction, explained the $750,000 does not reflect an increase on the cost of the project overall, but is for the Stacy and Witbeck Inc. contract for additional work, including the relocation, design and construction of a storm sewer, and other resources to ensure the project remains on schedule.

“During the early stages of construction, we identified that our northbound platform would partially overlap a pre-existing 42-inch stormwater line that belongs to the city of Austin,” Cartwright said. “[In] working with the city, we determined that it would be best for the long-term life of that stormwater line to relocate it further to the east and put it out along the Delta Drive right of way.”

Cartwright said that CapMetro worked with the contractor to design and price the reroute of the waterline, and added that the additional funding will also authorize the necessary easements for the city to relocate the line. Funding is available in the fiscal year 2023 capital budget and five-year capital improvement plan, according to agenda documents.

McKalla Station will be on CapMetro’s Red Line, which runs from downtown Austin through the central and northwest portion of the city and to the city of Leander. Once the project is completed, the line’s existing Kramer Station will be decommissioned.

According to CapMetro documents, the need for McKalla Station has been driven by Q2 Stadium ridership and development in the North Burnet neighborhood and will:
  • Support growth and provide connectivity to housing, employment and activity in North Burnet by increasing access to destinations such as the Domain and other major commercial, retail and university facilities in the area
  • Increase Red Line service to serve a larger transit market and address the increasing need for mobility in the area
  • Offer a transportation option to sporting and entertainment events at Q2 Stadium