AUSTIN (KXAN) - A proposed mega sports complex, comprised of 16 athletic fields, has some neighbors worried about traffic backups and safety in their neighborhoods.
The fields would be constructed in the Westlake area off Bee Cave Road and River Hills Road.
Ed MacLnerney and his wife have called the River Hills area home for the past 22 years. When they heard the news of a massive sports complex was in the works, they became concerned.
"The traffic is going to be horrendous," MacLnerney said.
The River Hills Sports Complex will take up 50 acres and have eight baseball fields, four multi-use fields and four tennis courts. It will also include an indoor gym, playgrounds, trails, concessions and picnic areas.
The facility will also accommodate 650 parking spots.
Some homeowners say Bee Cave Road and River Hills Road is the wrong location for such a project. The winding two-lane River Hills Road will be the main entrance.
Opponents say when families leave, the single stop sign at FM 2244 will cause major backups.
"That left turn is very difficult. That's a highway were people are traveling 60 mph," MacLnerney said.
"It's extremely dangerous, and I coach my 16-year-old son how to exit there every day, " said Lewis Talbert, who is concerned about the project.
Chris Ellis of the Western Hills Little League said the group is listening to homeowners and have made compromises.
"We've agreed to contribute $200,000 for a stop light at the intersection of Bee Cave and River Hills road," Ellis said.
The group also agreed to use 33 percent fewer lights at the fields, reduce the number of public address systems and limit the hours of operation.
A 50-year lease has already been signed with the Eanes school district.
Opponents still are not satisfied, and have offered other solutions, including breaking the mega park up into different areas. They also suggested moving the entire project three miles down to a safer traffic entrance.
However, project leaders said breaking the complex up would defeat the purpose, and the other location suggested would not work for their facility.
Private moneys will be used to fund the entire project. So far, River Hills Sports Park has raised $1 million.
Permits for the complex went to Travis County and the City of Austin in February. Approval could take four to six months.
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