Updates to FM 969 depend on if Mobility Bond is passed

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- To leave her home in east Austin and merge onto Farm to Market 969,  Gloria Alva says she needs to add an extra 40 minutes to the clock.

"People that go to work at 8 o'clock or even 7 o'clock, you can't get out of here," says Alva who lives in the Austin Colony neighborhood. "It takes from that four-way stop [in Austin Colony] to get to this traffic light, it takes about 20 minutes."

FM 969 extends east through Travis County to Bastrop County. The once country road has now become a hot spot for new growth and notorious for morning and evening rush hour backup.

That growth is expected to continue over the next 25 years. Several large residential and mixed-use developments are planned, as well as some commercial sites. The City of Austin says they hear drivers' frustrations with FM 969 and they say the road is a priority for development.

In 2014, the City of Austin outlined short and long term goals for the road in the FM 969/East MLK, Jr. Boulevard corridor Development Program. The goal of the program is to develop a set of recommendations to improve safety, mobility and quality of life along FM 969 between US 183 and Webberville.

An example of a long-term improvement would be widening FM 969 road to four lanes from Hunters Bend to Webberville by 2035. Gloria thinks in the meantime there are other ways to help the backup.

"The only thing that could be immediate, is someone here directing traffic," said Alva.

The issue with getting these updates completed relies on if funding is approved through the 2016 Mobility Bond this November. Of the $720 million bond proposition, $482 million would go to roads that are considered Corridor Improvement Projects.

If the Mobility Bond is approved, officials would then need to re-evaluate the corridor studies to determine what if any changes need to be made. The Mobility Bond is one the ballot this November.

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