AUSTIN (KXAN) — Drivers traveling on Ranch to Market 620 near Steiner Ranch Boulevard will soon see a major change with the addition of a new signal light at the intersection.
Even though Tom Henry has lived in the Steiner Ranch area since 2006, he is already too familiar with the congestion. “This particular intersection right here backups for hundreds of yards during rush hour time,” says Henry. “It’s very dangerous. We see multiple accidents out here.”
With new office and retail developments under construction, Travis County and the Texas Department of Transportation are working together to make sure the road can accommodate for the increase in traffic.
TxDOT officials say that due to heavy traffic on RM 620 during peak hours, Travis County contacted them to see how operations could be improved at the intersection. The agency looked at several different options and determined that a traffic signal was the best solution. It will be synchronized with the signal light at nearby Comanche Trail.
Some believe the traffic light might actually slow traffic down. Henry feels differently.
“I can understand and empathize with folks who don’t live in this community and traverse through here. The fact of the matter is, from what I understand these signals will be synced to the point that we won’t see an additional wait or red lights to get in and out of here with a left turn controlled environment.”
With more than 250 traffic crashes reported on RM 620 between Quinlan Park Road and Ranch to Market 2222 since 2012, Henry thinks this is a step closer towards safety. “We need them to move forward and this is definitely encouraging to see this happening.”
Construction on the $250,000 project is expected to start in September.
TxDOT also plans to address mobility and safety concerns at RM 620 and RM 2222. The project will add a bypass lane and make improvements to the intersection as a whole. During rush hour, traffic is routinely backed up for several miles to Mansfield Dam Bridge.
RM 620 is a 23.2- mile road running from State Highway 71 in Bee Cave and ending at Interstate 35 in Round Rock. Through most of its length, RM 620 functions as both a local thoroughfare and commuter highway, in many cases, it is the sole access to many subdivisions, businesses and schools. It is also the primary access route to Lake Travis-area recreation facilities.