Widening of RM 620 expected to ease flow of traffic


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) —  Under Phase 2 of the Williamson County and Texas Department of Transportation partnership, crews will widen 2.7 miles of Ranch to Market Road 620 between Cornerwood Drive and Deep Wood Drive, west of Interstate 35.

The project will be done in two segments. Segment 1 runs from Cornerwood Drive to Wyoming Springs Drive. The TxDOT portion will re-stripe the existing four-lane section, using the 14-foot shoulders to create six traffic lanes. There are also plans to add sidewalks along the north side of RM 620, however TxDOT still needs to secure funding.

Segment 2 runs from Wyoming Springs Drive to Deep Wood Drive. Williamson County will widen the roadway from four to six lanes and add a raised median. This segment will also include left and right-hand turn lanes. Crews will build sidewalks along the north side of RM 620 to fill in the current gaps. Neighbors say the improvements are desperately needed.

“Afternoons coming home from work, probably between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., trying to go anywhere especially east on 620 is horrible,” says Scott Sanders who lives off RM 620. “I think six lanes will help, but it will take a while to get there.”

Sanders is worried about temporary road closures once construction begins. “I have a feeling when they start that it’s going to be bad for a while.”

Construction is expected to take around 16 months. The cost of this phase is about $6 million — money voters approved in a 2013 bond election.

Numbers from CAMPO, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization show traffic actually dropped in recent years in this area, possibly because drivers are trying to avoid the congestion. In 2014 the most recent year we have data for, CAMPO says 38,731 vehicles traveled through the RM 620 and Deep Wood Drive intersection. That is down from a high 42,038 in 2013. That intersection saw a low of 36,000 vehicles per day in 2010.

The county finished Phase One in 2014, after expanding RM 620 further west, from Wyoming Springs to O’Connor Drive.

Drivers could see more construction along a different part of RM 620 in the coming months.The City of Round Rock is planning to work with TxDOT to build a bridge just east of the current project to reduce congestion. They want the bridge to go over the Union Pacific Railroad crossing just west of I-35.It would start at Chisholm Trail and end at Lake Creek Drive. The city expects construction to start by late 2017. It would last up to two and a half years.

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