Preliminary work is underway on Pflugerville's FM 685 and Pecan intersection improvements project, with the project anticipated to go for bidding in August, said Patricia Davis of Pflugerville's engineering department. Planned intersection improvements at Pecan and FM 685 include a displaced left turn lane, which will reroute traffic turning left onto a new road that runs parallel to the original one. Other improvements include traffic signal timing changes.
According to city documents, City Manager Sereniah Breland is required to execute a local on-system improvement project agreement with TxDOT before work can continue on the project. Per a schedule provided by city, a bid contract is expected to be awarded in November. City documents highlight a construction phase lasting from November 2020 through May 2021.
Davis said the project is anticipated to result in a 30% operational performance improvement at the intersection during morning commutes, and a 40% operation performance improvement during the evening commutes. With the intersection currently performing at an F level, Council Member Mike Heath requested city staff look further into traffic volumes to ensure these operational improvements mitigate traffic congestion and promote the intersection to a passing level.
Council Member Jeff Marsh said the displaced left-turn lane is unique from his perspective, asking Davis if there are similar models in the Greater Austin area. Davis said both Cedar Park and Round Rock have a displaced left turn lane, adding this will be the first for Pflugerville.
“It should be easier than, say, a traffic circle," Marsh said. "It should be an easier learning curve.”
The ongoing project design, Davis said, will result in both immediate improvements at the FM 685 and Pecan intersection as well as help offset some of the traffic related to the upcoming Project Charm development. Under its current operations, Davis said the project is on schedule for an August bidding process.