An $8 million project to bring pedestrian safety and traffic flow improvements along Anderson Mill Road is now underway in Northwest Austin.

City of Austin officials broke ground on the improvements project July 27 with a virtual ceremony. This project, which stretches from Spicewood Parkway to US 183 along Anderson Mill, will add several mobility improvements, from pedestrian walkways to new signals, to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, according to city documents.

“Through this project we’re going to have improved sidewalks,” said Jimmy Flannigan, Austin City Council member for District 6. “It's going to get the bikes and pedestrians off the road and create a center turn lane because the other problem with Anderson Mill Road [is] car accidents. And that is especially true near the 183 side of the road.”

In all, the improvements added along this stretch of Anderson Mill include water quality improvements, such as new rain gardens, continuous shared-use paths for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of the road, and a center left turn lane, according to city documents.

The project will further add a raised median near the intersection at US 183; a new pedestrian hybrid beacon at the Arboretum Park development; an extended right turn lane on Anderson Mill approaching US 183; and a new lane configuration, along with traffic signal upgrades, at the Anderson Mill and Olson Drive intersection.

These improvements will ultimately install sidewalks that will allow residents to safely access bus stops along Anderson Mill, Flannigan said. Currently, some stops for Capital Metro’s 383 bus routes are not accessible by sidewalk.

“Half of this road and most of the part we’re improving has the 383 bus, and there were no sidewalks in much of that segment, and the bus stops were unsafe,” Flannigan said.

City officials said July 27 this project could take up to 18 months to complete.

Eric Bailey, assistant director of public works for capital project delivery for the city of Austin, said construction crews are currently doing utility relocation and grading and drainage work.

“Once the final product is in place, the improvements will be very noticeable,” Bailey said.

City staff in early July told Community Impact Newspaper that construction will begin near the Anderson Mill and Spicewood Parkway intersection, with construction gradually moving east in phases.

The $8 million improvements project along Anderson Mill is funded in full by the city of Austin’s voter-approved 2016 Mobility Bond.

“It’s the largest program we’ve launched to date out of [the 2016 Mobility Bond Program],” Austin Transportation Department Director Robert Spillar said.