Several major roads across Central Texas will see upgrades thanks to $400 million in state and federal funds approved through the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Monday night.
Some of the improvements approved include:
- Parmer Lane (Farm to Market 734) in Cedar Park (upgrade to a 6-lane divided highway)
- Slaughter Lane in south Austin (upgrade to a 6-lane divided highway)
- RM 620 in West Travis County from Bee Cave to Lakeway (upgrade to a 6-lane divided highway)
- I-35 and Yarringonton Road in Hays County
It’s all in an effort to reduce congestion on the roadways. However, for those who live along Slaughter Lane, construction is already an issue.
“We’re getting used to it,” said Christie Hoffman. “It’ll be nice when it’s all done.”
Hoffman has to use the road frequently, saying, “It’s pretty bad. Normally you just have to pack your patience and do your best to drive kindly.”
Close to $23 million will go toward converting the section of Slaughter from N. MoPac to Brodie Lane from a four-lane into a six-lane road with a shared use path and intersection improvements.
Similar plans are in the works for Parmer Lane in Cedar Park.
“I think it is great,” said 15-year-resident of Cedar Park and business owner at AJ’s Cyclery, Christine Bittman.
With a little more than $62 million going to converting the four-lanes into a six-lane divided roadway from RM 1431 to State Highway 45 N. and around $9 million going to TxDOT’s ITS Deployment for improvements on the road from State Highway 45 N. to U.S. Highway 290.
“It’s heavy during rush hour, going to work and coming home from work,” said Bittman.
She sees the potential for growth in that stretch of Parmer Lane and stays positive about the road work.
“Hopefully people will come regardless of how hard it is,” she said about clients making it to her bike store.
Others like Hoffman are staying focused on the end result. “I hate traffic… a lot.”
While the project for Slaughter Lane is slated to begin until 2019 with preliminary engineering and construction and Parmer Lane isn’t slated to start until 2022, the news is a welcome relief for many who drive the busy street every day.
Miles of new road for Hays and Caldwell counties
Farther south, CAMPO approved miles of new road to connect Hays and Caldwell counties. The plan calls for a 7-mile extension of FM 150 and a 10-mile extension of Yarrington Road. The extension both start at SH 21 in Hays County and will go to toll road 130 in Caldwell County.
The entire plan is a massive project costing almost $122 million. CAMPO will provide $1.725 million for preliminary engineering.
“There’s a limited number of connections to San Marcos, Kyle, New Braunfels that would allow those folks easy access to 130 and take advantage of the quick route to San Antonio and Austin,” said CAMPO board member Ed Theriot.
Theriot says the project will also make it easier for those in Caldwell County to commute to work in San Marcos and Kyle. And the extra traffic could mean more development.
“We’re already seeing a lot of interest in the 130 corridor and I really think these connections will help,” said Theriot. “Having these additional means of connectivity to the 35 corridor will help Caldwell County in experiencing the growth and the access that is necessary for this area to experience its development potential.”
The CAMPO money will help project managers determine which route is best, whether each road hits 130 near Lockhart on their own or possibly merge together.
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