Cedar Park to add dedicated turn lanes on Bagdad Road

Project supported by $3 million from CAMPO

Bagdad Road will soon be reconstructed up to Cedar Park city limits as part of an estimated $4.58 million in road improvements.

The plan calls for several improvements along a 1.4-mile stretch of Bagdad Road from FM 1431 to immediately north of Kettering Drive at Leander High School. The plan includes adding dedicated turn lanes at five major intersections as well as new sidewalks and streetlights. Construction is expected to begin late this summer and take up to 16 months, said Alan Green, Cedar Park senior engineering associate.

The project is more of a rebuild than an expansion, Green said, because the existing Bagdad Road pavement is nearing its life expectancy. By adding dedicated left-turn lanes at major intersections, the street should be much safer to drive on, he said.

City officials first recognized the need for improvements in 2009 when engineers began redesigning Bagdad Road. It was not until 2011, however, that $3 million in funding emerged from the five-county regional group Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The city reorganized the project to satisfy state and federal standards, with the Texas Department of Transportation granting approval to bid out the project in May 2013. Austin-based Capital Excavation Inc.—the same construction company currently expanding Cottonwood Creek Trail in Cedar Park—is expected to be awarded the project.

Cedar Park agreed to cover the remaining $1.58 million in construction costs, including $350,000 in money from Cedar Park's Type B Community Development Board.

In addition, Leander plans to pitch in approximately $40,000 to help expand Bagdad Road from four to five lanes in front of Leander High School, Leander senior engineer Wayne Watts said.

The project has gained city support and is awaiting state approval before construction can begin, Green said.

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.