East Pflugerville road construction projects poised to begin in summer

A long-awaited road project designed to alleviate traffic along one of Pflugerville's most congested roadways is finally set to move forward.

City officials confirmed in January that construction will likely begin on the Colorado Sand Drive project before the end of summer. The creation of Colorado Sand Drive should help alleviate traffic congestion in Northeast Pflugerville and act as a detour route during construction planned on Kelly Lane in 2014, Assistant City Manager Trey Fletcher said.

"[Colorado Sand Drive] is critical to resolving the congestion along Kelly Lane," Fletcher said. "We want to make sure [local residents] have viable alternate routes."

Construction of Colorado Sand Drive will be divided in two parts, Fletcher said. The southern section will be paid for by property development company Newland Communities and will connect Pflugerville Parkway to Falcon Pointe Boulevard. The city will manage and pay for construction of the northern section of Colorado Sand, which will connect Kelly Lane with the Toll 130 northbound frontage road and FM 685.

The city created a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone in December 2010 to reimburse the construction costs of the road through future bonds or tax revenues. A TIRZ creates a public/private partnership for the creation of bonds based on the value of the property in the area.

"The TIRZ revenue will result from the increase in property values over time," Fletcher said.

When the Colorado Sand Drive project was conceptualized, the city imagined the roadway as a connector between Kelly Lane and Pflugerville Parkway. However, because of the reluctance of a local landowner to sell the right of way for the roadway, as of now, the two planned portions of Colorado Sand Drive will not connect.

"The owner is not interested in participating at this time," Fletcher said.

The Colorado Sand Drive project is the precursor to the larger Kelly Lane road construction project planned for 2014.

"[Kelly Lane] is going to turn into a four-lane, divided roadway," Pflugerville City Engineer Dan Franz said. "We are finalizing the designs right now we expect to have construction bids by the end of [2013]."