AUSTIN (KXAN) — Upgrading Central Texas’ rural roads and connecting the community is the goal behind TxDOT’s Rural Transportation Improvement Program or TIP.
The program will focus projects in Blanco, Gillespie, Llano, Lee and Mason counties from 2023 through 2026. TxDOT will have four years to fund the projects for highways, transit services, train or pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
To give area neighbors an idea of the possible projects the TIP could include, these are the projects that made the 2021 through 2024 Rural TIP.
In Blanco, the biggest chunk of money for the area, $6.6 million will go to constructing a continuous left-turn lane along State Highway 71 between the Burnet County Line and Travis County line. Work on that project is expected to start soon.
In Llano, $10 million will go to construct what is called ‘Super 2’ passing lanes along a section of State Highway 29. A two-lane surface road built to highway standards with wide lanes.
In Lee, crews will soon begin nearly $4 million of work restoring, leveling up and re-topping U.S. Highway 290 with asphalt from County Road 226 to the Fayette County Line.
In Mason, a little over $4 million will go to replace the bridge at the Llano River on Ranch-to-Market Road 1871. TxDOT officials said this was an area that experienced flooding and is technically considered a low water crossing.
Over in Gillespie, over $12 million will go to widening U.S. Highway 290 with a continuous left-turn lane East of Old San Antonio Road to Ranch-to-Market Road 1376. Construction on the project will likely start late next year into early 2024.
Gillespie County’s plan to speed up traffic around Fredericksburg won’t happen. The city council and county commissioners met in March to discuss the future of the Fredericksburg Relief Route Project.
Officials had been considering constructing a bypass road for years that would take drivers around the city, rather than through it. However, plans were rejected during the meeting due to low community support and questions surrounding costs. City officials said the plan could be picked up again in the future.
TxDOT said the virtual public meeting will be conducted in English and said to contact Angela Erwin at (512) 865-7777 if someone is n need of accommodations. The deadline was June 3 but TxDOT said it will do its best to accommodate services to those who need them.
To participate in the virtual public meeting visit www.txdot.gov and search: Austin District Rural TIP
Those interested in commenting have until Saturday, June 18 to do so.