AUSTIN (KXAN) — Half of a major project to cut down on traffic at a northwest Travis County bottleneck just opened up.
Texas Department of Transportation crews first broke ground on the RM 2222/620 bypass project in December 2019.
Nearly two years later, the first section of the bypass road from RM 620 to RM 2222 is now open to traffic. It’s a welcome sign for Steiner Ranch resident Brian Thompto.
“This is kind of a big deal when you have thousand of kids trying to get to high school every morning. This will have a big impact on their lives,” said Thompto.
Many students and their parents commuting to Vandergrift High School get stuck in the 620 bottleneck. Thompto is one of them. He’s spent years waiting, sometimes 45 minutes in traffic to get his kids to school.
He’s also a board member for the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association.
“We actually started advocating for major improvements back in 2012,” said Thompto. “We started talking to the area TxDOT engineers and advocating that we need a fix, and we need something out here fast.”
A solution is coming to fruition nearly 10 years later.
“What is there at this moment will not be there in the end,” said Thompto.
Right now, vehicles driving northbound on RM 620 are able to use the bypass to access eastbound RM 2222. At the end of the bypass, cars are met with a traffic light and have to yield to incoming traffic also trying to go east down RM 2222.
Eventually, more lanes will be added so the traffic can flow alongside the incoming 2222 traffic.
“The bypass is not in its final configuration. The RM 2222 widening project and the 620 bypass overlap, meaning these two projects will work hand in hand,” said Brad Wheelis with TxDOT communications. “One project doesn’t work without the other.”
The RM 2222 widening should be completed by late summer, and weather permitting, the bypass is expected to be completed by early 2022.
“I know TxDOT and its partners have had a lot of challenges during this time, but it’s great to see things happening,” said Thompto.
A study conducted in 2020 showed if nothing happened, the traffic in the Four Points area would increase up to 60%. TxDOT expects to reduce traffic by 60% with the completion of this project.