10 transportation updates to know in November in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

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All information on this page was updated as of 10/23/18.

Round Rock & Hutto

ongoing projects

1. Railroad quiet zones, Phase 1
This project will create railroad and street intersections that eliminate the need for train horns inside Round Rock city limits. When trains pass, motorists will be prevented from crossing railroad intersections through the addition of medians and four crossing arms.

Estimated timeline: September 2018-winter 2019

2. I-35 access improvements
Two braided ramps between Hesters Crossing Road and RM 620 that were designed to eliminate merging conflicts opened Sept. 5, creating new entry and exit traffic patterns.

Texas Department of Transportation crews have now begun widening work on I-35 between SH 45 and Hwy. 79.

Estimated timeline: July 2016-spring 2019

3. CR 119 extension
This project is a roadway extension for CR 119/Ed Schmidt Boulevard from Limmer Loop to Chandler Road in Hutto. Construction crews will create two lanes of a future four-lane roadway with a shoulder and a traffic signal at CR 119 and Limmer Loop.

Estimated timeline: December 2017-early 2019

recent updates

4. North Mays Street extension
On Oct. 11, Round Rock City Council approved an interlocal agreement between the city and  Williamson County for the North Mays Street extension project.

This agreement outlines funding for the extension project. As part of the agreement, the city of Round Rock will pay a portion of design and construction costs to connect the northernmost and southernmost portions of the arterial roadway.

This project will ultimately connect Paloma Drive and Oakmont Drive via an extension of Mays Street. The project description outlines a four-lane road.

Status: The project is anticipated to be bid by Williamson County by January with ground breaking expected to occur in early 2019.
Timeline: winter 2019-spring 2020
Cost: $3.8 million (city of Round Rock), $9.6 million (Williamson County)
Funding sources: city of Round Rock, Williamson County

5. North CR 110 widening
The North CR 110 widening will upgrade the existing two-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway.

This project is the first phase of an ultimate design to upgrade this section to a six-lane divided roadway. Final designs on the project have been completed.

Status: County officials say this project will be advertised before the end of the year.
Timeline: no timeline has been established for this project
Cost: this project is not funded for construction

Pflugerville

ongoing projects

1. East Pflugerville Parkway reconstruction project, Phase 2
The road from Colorado Sands Drive to Weiss Lane is open again to traffic. Some construction work is still underway and expected to last through November, so motorists should expect construction flagging and temporary delays.

Estimated timeline: May 2018-November 2018

2. Heatherwilde/Windermere street repairs
Phase 3 of the project, which includes the reconstruction of Blackthorn Drive and Gower Street, is underway and will last through November. Reconstruction of Columbine Street and Simsbrook Drive is expected to begin in November, weather permitting.

Estimated timeline: March 2018-summer 2019

recent updates

3. Weiss Lane improvements
The Weiss Lane project will replace all bridges from East Pecan Street to Kelly Lane. It will also expand the road from two lanes to four with turn lanes, shoulders, drainage improvements, curbs and gutters.

Status: Crews have begun work on the southbound lanes of the bridge located to the south of Kelly Lane as well as work on the northbound lanes of the bridge located north of Jesse Bohls Drive. That work is expected to last through November.
Timeline: March 2017-spring 2019
Cost: $14.6 million (city of Pflugerville), $7.4 million (Travis County)
Funding sources: city of Pflugerville, Travis County

4. SH 130 widening project, Segment 2
The first segment of the SH 130 widening project will ultimately add a third lane to both the northbound and southbound portions of the toll road from SH 45 N to Hwy. 290, with additional entrance and exit ramp construction. Crews broke ground on the project Oct. 4.

Status: While the project is under construction, the 80 mph speed limit will be lowered to 70 mph from south of Hwy. 290 to north of Cameron Road.

Crews are making concrete repairs on the existing SH 130 lanes ahead of widening work to improve the quality of the roadway. Once those improvements are made, TxDOT crews will set a concrete barrier and begin widening work by adding a third inside lane.
Timeline: September 2018-summer 2020
Cost: $36.8 million
Funding sources: Central Texas
Turnpike System

UPCOMING PROJECTS

5. Pfennig Lane widening and reconstruction
This project will reconstruct and widen Pfennig Lane to a three-lane roadway with curbs and gutters from Rocky Creek Drive to Justice Center Drive. Designs for the project include one lane in either direction with a center turn lane.

Status: City officials expect the project to go to bid in December, with construction beginning February.
Timeline: February 2019-winter 2020
Cost: TBD
Funding source: city of Pflugerville

How it works

Could red-light cameras become illegal in Texas?

Red-light cameras are used in municipalities to improve safety at intersections. The Texas Transportation Code outlines specific requirements for the revenue collected through red-light camera violations, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. For example, fines can be used to pay for the installation, operation, administration and maintenance of the systems, according to TxDOT.

However, the devices have garnered their share of controversy: Opponents claim they may lead to an increase in other types of accidents such as rear-ending, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. Since 2014, Texas lawmakers have filed numerous bills to repeal or prohibit red-light camera ordinances. None of the bills have made it to the governor’s desk to date, according to Abbott’s office.

Abbott in mid-September released a report in which he called for prohibiting local adoption of red-light cameras and preempting any local ordinances or policies permitting red-light cameras already in force. The law would need to be approved in the state Legislature, which convenes Jan. 8.

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  1. With regards to the red light cameras, what’s next? Are they going to automatically start monitoring our speed too, and fine us for 1 mph over the limit? On the other hand I’m sure these red light cameras do catch some serious red light runners, just like those new school bus cameras. When you evaluate this new technology, you have to ask the question, are they doing it more for the money, or for enhanced public safety?

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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