Pedestrian crossing improvements set to start and 3 other transportation projects to know in Northwest Austin

I-35 at US 183 flyovers
The Texas Department of Transportation in April will open the first of three new flyovers connecting I-35 to US 183 in North Austin. (Courtesy TxDOT)

The Texas Department of Transportation in April will open the first of three new flyovers connecting I-35 to US 183 in North Austin. (Courtesy TxDOT)

Image description
Designed by Mel Stefka/Community Impact Newspaper
Image description
Designed by Mel Stefka/Community Impact Newspaper
Parkfield Drive school pedestrian crossing improvements on track to start this spring

Now that it has finished collecting and reviewing community feedback on the project, the city of Austin will soon begin construction on pedestrian safety improvements near Wooldridge Elementary School.

According to a February newsletter from the Austin Transportation Department, improvements to pedestrian crossings at more than a handful of intersections on Parkfield Drive will be constructed in three phases. Improvements will be made along Parkfield from Payton Gin Road to Mearns Meadow Boulevard.

The first phase of construction will cover improvements from Payton Gin to Rundberg Lane and is scheduled to begin later this spring. These improvements will include adding new lane markings, pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes and high-visibility crosswalk markings.

In the second phase of construction, the city will install new sidewalks, crossing islands and intersection improvements.


A future third phase of construction will add protected bike lanes and parking adjustments from Rundberg to Mearns Meadow.

The city stated some changes have been made to the original project design. The changes include shorter crossing distances at the new protected intersection at Payton Gin and Parkfield as well as new crossing islands at the intersections of Parkfield and Colony Creek Drive and Parkfield and Woodfield Drive.

Further lane adjustments, including removing some parking lanes and center turn lanes, have also been updated in the city’s plans.

These improvements are funded by the 2016 Mobility Bond and the Safe Routes to School program, according to the city.

Council opens funds from 2020 bond to allow for initial phases of construction

Austin City Council on March 4 unanimously voted to release funds from the voter-approved 2020 Active Transportation and Safety Bond.

This move now allows the Austin Transportation and Austin Public Works departments to hire additional staff to begin work on the initial phases of roadway and mobility projects citywide.

Once the departments hire the staff to implement the bond projects, staff will start the community engagement process, according to the city’s news release. Construction on the first 2020 bond projects is expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022, and the city anticipates completing the final projects by the end of 2027.

ONGOING PROJECTS

US 183 at I-35 flyovers

TxDOT expects to open in April two new flyovers from I-35 southbound to both directions on US 183. Crews have poured a portion of the new northbound US 183 to northbound I-35 flyover, which will open late 2021.

Timeline: January 2018-fall 2021

Parmer Lane diverging diamond

The northbound I-35 bypass lane at Parmer Lane and the new southbound I-35 Braker Lane exit are expected to open before the end of April. Additional utility and excavation work continues on the project.

Timeline: July 2019-mid-2021

By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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