Transportation Updates1.  Hwy. 290 and Old Bee Caves Road  

The center lane was reconfigured and restriped to make a designated left turn from east Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71 to Old Bee Caves Road as well as to provide use of the center lane for acceleration from Old Bee Caves to the Y at Oak Hill. Directional arrows were added to the center lane for the Old Bee Caves turn.  

Timeline: March-April 2016
Cost: $60,000
Funding source: Texas Department of Transportation

2. SH 71 Improvement Project

Construction on Phase 4 began in mid-October for the area from Silvermine Drive to just south of Scenic Brook Drive. That work, which is still underway, involves adding shoulders and a continuous center turn lane and is anticipated to be completed by spring 2016. When the overall project is complete, parts of the project area will consist of five lanes, including a dedicated center left-turn lane, shoulders, a new pavement surface and striping.

Timeline: summer 2014-summer 2016
Cost: $15.9 million
Funding sources: TxDOT

3. Hazard elimination project on Fitzhugh Road

TxDOT will make safety improvements to Fitzhugh Road, including signage, delineation and guardrails along the Southwest Austin roadway from Hwy. 290 to the Hays County line. The project is slated to go out for bids in August 2017.

Timeline: August 2017-fall/winter 2017
Cost: approximately $104,500
Funding sources: TxDOT federal funds, Travis County

4. SH 45 SW design phase

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has identified opportunities to enhance the design environmentally cleared in 2015 for SH 45 SW, a planned limited-access, four-lane, 3.6-mile toll road connecting MoPac to FM 1626 in Hays County. The Mobility Authority is finalizing its design and coordinating reviews with key stakeholders. At press time the project had not yet gone out for bids. On Feb. 25, a coalition sued TxDOT and the Mobility Authority to stop SH 45 SW and other MoPac projects (see
Page 15).

Timeline: spring 2016-spring 2018
Cost: $100 million (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization estimate)
Funding sources: Travis and Hays counties, Mobility Authority, TxDOT Toll Equity grant, TxDOT Toll Equity Loan

5. Oak Hill Parkway environmental study

TxDOT and the Mobility Authority held a stakeholder meeting in Dripping Springs on Feb. 2. More meetings are to be scheduled throughout this year and early 2017. A project team is refining two concepts as part of the study examining potential solutions for the intersection of Hwy. 71 and Hwy. 290. A no-build alternative is also under consideration.

Timeline: environmental study expected to be complete in 2017
Cost: about $650 million for project
Funding sources: TBD

6. Manchaca Road and Slaughter Lane safety updates

At the intersection of Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road, the city of Austin Transportation Department plans to add raised medians, turn lanes and other safety improvements. Staff expects to complete the design this summer.

Timeline: October 2015-summer (design), TBD (construction)
Cost: $1.5 million
Funding sources: city of Austin

7. Toll discount

An effort to implement a permanent discount for semitrailers on SH 130 failed in the previous legislative session, but the governing board for TxDOT approved another temporary discount March 31. The TTC approved discounting toll rates for semitrailers that use SH 130 between Georgetown and SH 45 SE as well as on SH 45 SE, which connects I-35 and SH 130. The toll discount is expected to provide some congestion relief on I-35.

Timeline: April 18-August 2017
Cost: $18.7 million
Funding source: state budget