RM 2222, Hamilton Pool Road and RM 620: transportation updates in the Lake Travis-Westlake area for October

Several transportation projects are underway or coming to the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Several transportation projects are underway or coming to the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Listed below are several updates on transportation projects in the Lake Travis-Westlake area that are ongoing or coming soon.

  1. RM 2222 improvement

This project on RM 2222 covers 1.2 miles and will widen RM 2222 from Bonaventure Drive to Ribelin Ranch Drive. It will also include installation of a center median with turn lanes within the project limits. The groundbreaking ceremony was held Jan. 16.

Status: The project remains on schedule. A temporary signal was installed at Sitio Del Rio, and crews are working on a temporary signal at River Place Boulevard. Utility work continues as well with new water lines being installed. Paving is underway to help switch traffic and move to the next construction phase. That is scheduled to take place sometime next month, according to Bradley Wheelis, public information officer for Texas Department of Transportation.

Timeline: January-summer 2020

Cost: $23.6 million (construction); $203,491 of that total comes from the city of Austin.

Funding sources: TxDOT, city of Austin

2. RM 620/RM 2222 bypass

According to TxDOT, the project consists of adding an outside northbound merge lane along RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard to a new bypass road—to be constructed about a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. Center-turn lanes and medians will also be built on RM 2222 between the new bypass road and RM 620.

Status: Wheelis said the project went out for contract, or let, in July.

Timeline: Estimated groundbreaking for the project should occur sometime this fall, and the project is anticipated to be complete summer 2020, according to TxDOT.

Cost: $10 million

Funding sources: TxDOT, city of Austin mobility bond

3. Bullick Hollow left-turn lane

A mobility project to add a left-turn lane on Bullick Hollow Road where the road intersects with FM 2769 has completed the design phase, according to information from Travis County. The lane will run from FM 2769 to 400 feet south of the Bullick intersection.

Information from Travis County’s project webpage states the project was set to begin in fall 2020, but project manager Chiddi N’Jie said the project will now begin much sooner, even with some recent delays.

Status: N’Jie said construction for this project was initially scheduled to start in September but now is scheduled to begin sometime in October. It is expected to last about three months, weather and site conditions permitting.

Timeline: fall 2019-TBD

Cost: $240,000

Funding source: 2017 Travis County bond funds

4. RM 620 medians placed through Lakeway

Lakeway officials are planning to meet with a TxDOT district engineer to discuss the installation of medians along RM 620 as it runs through Lakeway. Information from the city states the project would take place between Lohmans Crossing Road and Lakeway Boulevard. During an Aug. 12 budget work session, Mayor Sandy Cox said the median installations are planned to be done ahead of the massive RM 620 widening project to take the road to six lanes and for which construction is set for 2022.

Status: City of Lakeway Communications Director Jarrod Wise said city officials are still evaluating the project. There is not yet a time frame for when the project will begin.

Timeline: TBD

Cost: TBD

Funding sources: city of Lakeway, TxDOT

5. RM 2244 upgrade

The aesthetic improvement of a portion of Bee Caves Road running from McConnell Drive to Blueridge Trail is part of the TxDOT Green Ribbon Program to upgrade the road’s landscaping and scenery, according to TxDOT Public Information Officer Bradley Wheelis.

Status: design phase

Timeline: fall 2020-spring 2021

Cost: $400,000

Funding source: TxDOT

6. Hamilton Pool Road safety improvements

Construction has begun for phases 1A and 1B of a multimillion-dollar project to improve Hamilton Pool Road between RM 12 and the east top bank of the Pedernales River, and 1B involves the addition of turn lanes at the entrance to the Hamilton Pool Preserve.

Status: 1A was scheduled to be complete in November, but due to bad weather, its completion date could fall as late December. 1B is substantially completed with a few items remaining, including the installation of signs and some striping.

Timeline: spring-winter

Cost: $2.5 million

Funding source: 2017 Travis County bond

7. Hamilton Pool Road pavement expansion project

TxDOT was slated to create an additional paved surface with a milled edge on Hamilton Pool Road from Vistancia Drive to Cueva Drive. Earlier in 2019, Wheelis said the project’s scope has 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’s limits have also changed. Work parameters will now run from RM 12 to Hwy. 71.

Status: Wheelis said the cost estimate has risen from $12.2 million to $16.2 million. TxDOT has identified its share of funding and is waiting on local funding.

Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty has also been working to secure funding for the project. In April Wheelis said the time frame to seek bids was moved from this November to September 2020 to accommodate extra design work.

Timeline: The project is scheduled to go out for bid in September 2020.

Cost: approximately $16.2 million

Funding sources: TxDOT, Travis County

8. Oak Hill Parkway

The Oak Hill Parkway project is set to begin work by late 2020. As far back as 1988, TxDOT was conducting environmental research into the area with a focus on potential improvements.

TxDOT began hosting sessions for public input on a project design in 2012, and last year an official design for Oak Hill Parkway was chosen.

The plan has a goal to accommodate traffic projections through the year 2040. Oak Hill Parkway should add space to the 64th-most congested roadway in Texas—according to the Texas Transportation Institute—and prepare for an even greater influx of traffic as more development takes place on Hwy. 290.

TxDOT’s official schematic design for the project was selected in May 2018. It features expansions along 6 miles of Hwy. 290, with three main lanes and two to three frontage road lanes in both directions. The plans also show an elevated overpass for the main lanes over William Cannon Drive and flyovers to create nonstop access between Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71 where there are currently traffic lights. One mile of Hwy. 71 will also be expanded, according to TxDOT.

Status: TxDOT is moving forward with a feasibility study for additional improvements to the section of West Hwy. 290 between the Y at Oak Hill and Dripping Springs.

Timeline: The next step in the project is for TxDOT to execute a design-build contract, which Wheelis said will occur in mid-2020.

Cost: $478 million

Funding source: TxDOT

By 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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