The goal of construction is to improve traffic flow along the scenic highway. The Texas Department of Transportation is in the midst of the environmental process, which can take two to four years, to see how proposed improvements at these four intersections will impact the environment, including the golden-cheeked warbler and Jollyville Plateau salamander, both of which reside in the area.
“That adds a little complexity to the environmental, and it adds a little bit of time; that’s why we give a range,” Project Manager Lucas Short said.
The agency has also been meeting with residents for the past year to gather feedback on preliminary designs for the intersections, TxDOT Public Information Officer Brad Wheelis said. These include adding overpasses and underpasses on the main lanes to remove traffic signals and building out frontage roads to access cross streets.
Since its first meeting in November to reveal designs for the Spicewood Springs Road/Bluffstone Drive intersection, TxDOT decided to combine that project with the project at Lakewood.
“When we put those out for bid and go to construction, there could be some lag, but they’re going to [be built] together,” Wheelis said.
In total TxDOT will make improvements at nine intersections along Loop 360 for a total of $250 million, which includes $46 million from the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond. Construction will begin in 2022 and will take two to three years at each intersection.
Additional reporting by Iain Oldman.