A partnership agreement between the city of Round Rock and the Texas Department of Transportation enables improvement plans to move forward for a segment of Hwy. 79 spanning from I-35 to A.W. Grimes.

What’s happening?

Round Rock City Council is slated to approve an advance funding agreement with TxDOT at its Dec. 21 meeting, which outlines both party’s responsibilities in the lane-widening improvements.

Similar to the collaboration on the RM 620 overpass, the city will take over the design and engineering components of the project, according to a presentation to council.

“[It’s been] a long time coming; we’re pretty excited about this,” Director of Transportation Gary Hudder said. “We’ll get some of the challenging, messy work done more efficiently on the front end and keep the pressure on the state to continue to fund the activity.”

City documents indicate estimated engineering costs to total $2.8 million. Improvements will include one additional lane in each direction, widening the roadway to six lanes divided by a raised median. Plans also indicate upgrades to signals, turns lanes, sidewalks and shared-use paths.

Looking ahead

Hudder indicated plans to hire a design firm by the spring.

In response to collaboration efforts and negotiations with the city, TxDOT has added $45 million into their fund to further the project. Construction costs alone are estimated at $28 million.

Additionally, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, has begun a corridor study for the remaining stretch of Hwy. 79 out to Taylor.