A section of Spicewood Springs Road will be widened to four lanes with shared use paths following Austin City Council’s approval of a $34.18 million contract with DeNucci Constructors LLC on Sept. 21.

The details

Spanning from Mesa Road to Loop 360, the section of Spicewood Springs Road will see the following improvements:
  • Turning the two-lane road into a four-lane road divided with a grass median and left-turn bays
  • Creating continuous pedestrian and bicycle shared-use paths on both sides of the road
  • Installing an underground storm drain system with culverts, manholes and more to manage water flow
  • Creating two water detention ponds along with water quality ponds and rain gardens
  • Extending water transmission lines and improving wastewater lines
The project is scheduled to start construction this fall and continue through 2026. The improvements are expected to cause lane closures and detours throughout construction.

For a full breakdown of the lane expansion, water and wastewater projects included with this project, refer to this map.

Cost to the city

The project was originally created as part of the city’s 2016 bond and carried a $17 million price tag.

Six years later, the project costs twice as much and is being financed by two city entities. Two-thirds of the project, $24.13 million, is funded by the transportation and public works department’s capital budget. The additional $10.1 million is funded by Austin Water’s capital budget.

The backstory

City transportation plans identify Spicewood Springs Road as a major arterial road, meaning it sees large volumes of cross-through traffic.

As it stands, this section of Spicewood Springs Road alternates between one and two lanes in each direction. A portion of the road toward Mesa Drive is separated by a grassy median, but there is no median for much of the section approaching Loop 360.

There is also an eastbound bike lane and discontinuous sections of pedestrian sidewalks, according to the city’s preliminary engineering report for the project.

The lack of a continuous center turn lane makes accessing businesses and services in the area challenging, and results in the buildup of traffic, according to the report.

Preliminary engineering plans for the project kicked off in 2017, followed by design and permitting from 2019-21. The city called for bids on the project in May and received two proposals by July.