New road projects surface in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

FM 685 improvements

FM 685 improvements

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES1. East Pecan reconstructionTRANSPORTATION UPDATES
East Pecan Street from SH 130 eastward to Weiss Lane will be reconstructed into a three-lane roadway with curb and gutters and a sidewalk and rehabilitation from Weiss to Cameron Road. The road will be one lane only during construction and reopen at the end of each day when crews are not onsite.

Status: began Sept. 26
Timeline: September-May
Cost: $1.8 million
Funding sources: 2014 Pflugerville bond package


2. I-35 access improvements
The project will provide enhancements to 2.3 miles of I-35, from SH 45 N to Hwy. 79. Work includes the reconstruction of northbound and southbound frontage road intersections at I-35 and Hwy. 79, the addition of a third left-turn lane from westbound Hwy. 79 to southbound I-35 and the construction of braided ramps—a design in which one ramp crosses over the other—on northbound I-35 between Hester’s Crossing Road and RM 620, which is intended to relieve bottleneck issues. This project is funded by the voter-approved Proposition 1.


Status: During September, crews worked on the right of way for Phase 1 at McNeil Road, placing traffic-control devices and temporary striping at Hwy. 79 and I-35, and began excavation and embankment on temporary ramps along the highway.
Timeline: July 2016-early 2019
Cost: $28.1 million
Funding sources: Texas Department of Transportation


3. Weiss Lane roadway improvement
The city of Pflugerville and Travis County will host an open house at the Pflugerville Justice Center, 116 E. Pfenning Lane, on Oct. 26 to provide information about the Weiss Lane roadway improvements slated to begin in early 2017. The project is funded by voter-approved bond funds and will widen the roadway from Wilbarger Creek to Cele Road, from two lanes to four lanes with curb and gutter and drainage improvements. The southernmost section from Wilbarger Creek to East Pecan will be reconstructed as a two-lane roadway with shoulders.


Status: project will begin in early 2017
Timeline: 20 months
Cost: $19.3 million
Funding sources: city of Pflugerville and Travis County bonds


4. Heatherwilde Boulevard widening
This project reconstructs and widens the existing two-lane road into a four-lane, divided roadway with raised medians, turn lanes, drainage improvements, pedestrian facilities and a signal at Kingston Lacy Boulevard. Work is underway from just north of East Pflugerville Parkway to just south of SH 45 N. Improvements also include landscaping.


Status: Traffic switched to the newly constructed eastside lanes in August. The manhole covers that are along the roadway will be leveled during the final asphalt layer of the project.
Timeline: February 2016-mid-2017
Cost: $6.7 million
Funding sources: 2014 Pflugerville bond package


5. FM 685 improvements
FM 685 is receiving a major overhaul in Hutto between SH 130 and Hwy. 79. The road will be widened to accommodate shoulders, left-turn lanes and a median from Hwy. 79 to Riverwalk Drive. Two new bridges 12 feet higher than the original bridges are being built over Brushy Creek to reduce flooding of the roadway.


Status: The northbound bridge deck is poured and construction on the bridge supports has begun. It is anticipated the Riverwalk to Hwy. 79 portion will be opened in October and the completion of the project will be early November.
Timeline: October 2014-November 2016
Cost: $11 million
Funding sources: Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, city of Hutto, TxDOT


6. Carl Stern Drive extension
This project extends Carl Stern Drive west of FM 685 and links it to SH 130. The developer of Carmel Creek, a mixed-use development through which the road will pass, is building the road, and Hutto will reimburse the developer for the cost of the road construction. The portion from FM 685 to Carmel Creek was completed in 2015.


Status: The road extension is now complete.
Timeline: summer 2014-September 2016
Cost: not to exceed $5 million
Funding sources: city of Hutto, private developer


7. Kennemer Drive maintenance
Kennemer Drive, from its intersection with Kelly Lane to Terradyne Drive, will be repaired and repaved. This project is a part of the city of Pflugerville’s annual street maintenance program. By installing a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement, the city will be able to extend the pavement’s lifespan.


Status: The drainage improvements portion of the project is underway. Weather and contractor delays have resulted in the overlay portion of the project being delayed until October or early November.
Timeline: July-fall
Cost: $861,595
Funding sources: city of Pflugerville


8. Creek Bend Boulevard extension
The project will extend Creek Bend Boulevard over Brushy Creek and Hairy Man Road to connect with Brightwater Boulevard at Wyoming Springs Drive. It will include raised medians, sidewalks and bicycle accommodations. 


Status: Final curb and sidewalk work is concluding. Roadway pavement placement begins soon. Signal work at Brightwater began at the end of September.
Timeline: April 2015-late 2016
Cost: $8.1 million
Funding sources: city of Round Rock


9. Arterial H extension
Williamson County is extending Arterial H to Sam Bass Road. This project includes the design of four lanes for Arterial H, and current construction will consist of the northern two lanes.


Status: In September, the contractor was working on excavating and installing an 18-inch water line along the north side of the roadway.
Timeline: June 2016-early 2017
Cost: $3.2 million
Funding sources: Williamson County road bonds


TRANSPORTATION UPDATES


By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


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