AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Transportation is working on improving the busy 14-mile corridor.
“It needs improvement because there’s so much traffic,” said Ann Snyder, who lives near the busy highway.
On Thursday, officials will meet with the community to discuss plans at Lakewood Drive and Spicewood Springs Road. TxDOT officials will also give the community another look at the proposed improvements on Spicewood Springs Road and Bluffstone Drive.
This includes getting rid of traffic signals and constructing overpasses with non-signalized U-turns in both directions.
“I just wonder where the blockage is going to be because there are so many cars,” Snyder said.
TxDOT officials said not only will the changes reduce congestion, but also help people like Snyder who need to get in and out of their neighborhood. The project will have exits and create connector roads which help drivers jump on the loop. However, Margaret Jordan isn’t so sure it’ll help ease traffic.
“It’s going to be like an accordion in those places. It’ll slow down and it’ll speed up and then slow down and speed up,” Jordan said.
Both Snyder and Jordan agree they would like to see something done to improve congestion and hope it happens sooner than later.
“Hopefully they’re correct and it’ll actually help something,” Jordan said. “But it’s going to be a mess until they get it done.”
TxDOT officials said they are also proposing adding a shared-use path and sidewalks to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The Lakewood Drive and Spicewood Springs workshop will be at the Westover Hills Church of Christ on Mesa Drive from 4 to 6 p.m.
Right now, TxDOT is wrapping up the environmental studies and entering the design phases for many of these projects. The design phase is expected to last anywhere from two to four years.
In the next few months, TxDOT will host another workshop for those who live and commute along Walsh Tarlton Lane.
TxDOT officials said if nothing is done, driving on Loop 360 during rush hour could get worse. Morning drive times could double 20 years from now, and evening travel times could increase as well.