The Texas Department of Transportation on Aug. 26 hosted a virtual public meeting to preview early schematics of proposed improvements at the congested Northwest Austin intersection as well as collect feedback from the public.
According to slides presented by TxDOT, acquisition of nearby land for right of way will not start until spring 2023 with an anticipated construction start date in 2027 at the earliest.
“The RM 620 and Anderson Mill Road intersection project timeline is contingent on funding, right of way acquisition and utility relocation, and as such, dates are subject to change,” said Bradley Wheelis, public information officer for TxDOT, during the recorded Aug. 26 virtual presentation.
The proposed improvements at RM 620 and Anderson Mill currently do not have allocated funds for construction. In 2020, the project was stripped of $25 million in funding after the the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization voted to redirect those funds to help pay for the upcoming I-35 Capital Express Project.
Wheelis in the presentation said the project will likely utilize state and federal funding for completion in the future. An environmental review of the project is mandated due to those probable funding sources, according to TxDOT.
“The proposed project does not currently have construction funding, but TxDOT is actively seeking funds to advance the improvements,” Wheelis said during the presentation.
If the project moves forward, the proposed improvements include elevated bypass lanes that will help alleviate congestion at the RM 620 and Anderson Mill intersection. According to early schematics for the project, the elevated bridge will run along RM 620 from just south of Anderson Mill to just north of El Salido Parkway.
The project will also add two- to three-lane frontage roads and 10-foot shared-use paths along RM 620. The entire scope of the project runs from south of Foundation Road to Little Elm Trail on RM 620 in Northwest Austin. Construction will also extend approximately 900 feet on Anderson Mill north and south of the intersection with RM 620.
According to TxDOT, the project scope stretches across both Travis and Williamson counties as well as the city limits of both Austin and Cedar Park.
TxDOT anticipates congestion at the intersection to steadily increase before any construction on improvements can begin. According to numbers presented by the state agency Aug. 26, the average daily traffic count at the RM 620 and Anderson Mill intersection is expected to grow by 14% by 2025, up to 49,600 daily drivers. By 2045, the number of daily drivers at that intersection is expected to reach 67,000.
Final schematics on the project will be completed by the end of fall 2022, Wheelis said during the Aug. 26 presentation.
Acquisition of up to 27 acres of right of way land may begin by 2023, TxDOT materials show. Wheelis said during the presentation that up to 20 commercial properties may be relocated due to the project.
“No residential displacements are anticipated as a result of the potential improvements,” Wheelis said during the presentation.
TxDOT is collecting feedback and comments from the public through Sept. 10. Materials are available online for review on the project’s TxDOT page. Written comments regarding the proposed project may be submitted via email or sent by mail to Matthew Cho, P.E., TxDOT project manager, TxDOT Austin District Office, P.O. Box 15426, Austin, Texas 78761-5426.