WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — In her 21 years of living in Hutto and now teaching, Kay Crislip has seen big change.
“Definitely a busier place now. More buildings, more businesses, more traffic,” Crislip says.
A 2013 city traffic study, shows nearly 34,000 cars a day driving on Highway 79 near the toll road. You can only imagine what that number is today, after three more years of growth.
Now Williamson County commissioners have approved another traffic study that could give drivers like Crislip a break.
Highway 79 and toll road 130 can get congested. The goal is to ease traffic by putting frontage roads along SH 130, about a mile-and-a half in each direction.
A frontage road would run northbound from FM 685 to Hwy 79, and from 79 to Limmer Loop. A southbound frontage road would extend from Limmer Loop to Highway 79. Crislip said, “It would ease just the regular traffic coming from Round Rock to Hutto, because there’s always a congestion there at 685.”
More room on the road isn’t the only benefit. Turning the grass into pavement would allow businesses to move in along the frontage roads. “We always look forward excitedly to new businesses coming to Hutto,” she said.
The traffic study is already underway and is expected to be done this summer. Williamson County is paying for the study, which costs $35,000.
For perspective, we took a closer look at how much traffic passes through Hutto on SH 130. TxDoT traffic counts from 2011 showed 33,000 vehicles per day on the toll road near Highway 79. By 2014, that number surged to nearly 42,000 cars per day, an increase of more than 26 percent.