Lowered speed limit and improved and extended roads: Transportation updates for Lake Travis-Westlake


  1. Hamilton Pool Road pavement expansion project scope changes


The Texas Department of Transportation was slated to create an additional paved surface with a milled edgeline on Hamilton Pool Road from Vistancia Drive to Cueva Drive.

TxDOT Public Information Officer Bradley Wheelis said the project scope has been changed. The 22-foot roadway will now be widened to a 46-foot-wide section and will include two 11-foot travel lanes—one in each direction—a 12-foot-wide continuous left-turn lane and 6-foot outside shoulders in each direction.

The project limits have also been changed, and the work parameters will now run from RR 12 to Hwy. 71.  The project is scheduled to go out for bid in September 2020, and the estimated construction cost is approximately $12.2 million.

2. Modifications coming to Vail Divide

Bee Cave City Council voted at its Feb. 12 meeting to modify a section of Vail Divide where it turns into the Bella Colinas subdivision. The change will create an unsignaled T-intersection for the roadway at Vail Divide and a portion of the same street, which officials say will likely be renamed Vail Divide Court.

“The proposed improvements will realign the existing southern end of Vail Divide from curving east into the Bella Colinas subdivision to an alignment that continues south along the common property line between the Bella Colinas subdivision and the [Lake Travis ISD] property,” a city document states.

Information from the city states construction of the Vail Divide realignment should take about six months.

3. Hwy. 71 speed limit lowered

TxDOT lowered the speed limit along an 8.5-mile stretch of road on Hwy. 71 from the Bee Cave city limit to the Pedernales River. The change took effect Feb. 1.

The reduction came after TxDOT received a request to study driver speed in the area. Results of the study determined the speed limit could be lowered 5 mph, from 60 to 55 mph.  The change was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission on Jan. 31.

Speed limits are set via engineering studies, called the 85th percentile method, to determine the proper safe and reasonable limits under ideal conditions. For more information on how speed limits are set, visit www.txdot.gov.

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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