Roadwork expected to help alleviate traffic near Cedar Park hospital

Construction to expand Cottonwood Creek Trail and a portion of New Hope Drive officially started in July after sitting on the shelf nearly one year.

Cedar Park waited to break ground on a $6.06 million project—not because of any technical or legal roadblocks—until surrounding projects at FM 1431 and Toll 183A were completed.

"This project was almost completely designed but to put four sides of 1890 Ranch under construction at once was something we didn't want to do," Cedar Park Engineering Director Darwin Marchell said.

The project widens the two corridors from two to four lanes in anticipation of increased traffic surrounding 1890 Ranch and the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. The area is also just across the tollway from the Cedar Park Center.

"Between the Cedar Park Center, the hospital and its close proximity to the tollway, there needed to be something bigger than a two-lane highway," Marchell said.

The majority of the project—57 percent—is covered by Williamson County, and Cedar Park will pick up the remaining $2.61 million bill, he said.

The roads will remain open throughout the 14-month construction process. Crews will first create two new lanes before closing the existing roadway—leaving one lane of traffic open in both directions at all times, Senior Engineering Associate Alan Green said.

There are no other development projects scheduled at this time along the corridor, which is widely vacant, but that is likely to change once construction is complete, Green said.

"A lot of times, [developers] will hold off until that roadwork is complete," he said.

The road was in bad condition, Marchell said, making the project necessary regardless of anticipated development.

"It's either that or we do maintenance, which costs money and creates no additional capacity," he said. "This was just the right thing to do."

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


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