AUSTIN (KXAN) — Major construction will begin this month in Central Austin as crews begin road improvements near The Grove, a mixed-use development on prime property near Shoal Creek.
Construction at the intersection of 45th Street and Bull Creek Road is expected to take about 9 months to complete. The aim of the upgrades is to improve traffic flow and to make it safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The biggest upgrade from the construction is going to be new radar detection at the intersection, which will replace the camera-mounted units used to sense cars throughout most of the city.
“So it’s a microwave radar, it’s just more reliable. It’s not affected by fog, it’s not affected by wind, the camera, sometimes the wind can blow the cameras and get them all offset to where they’re not detecting the vehicles anymore,” said project manager Brian Williams.
“These improvements will require periodic — if not daily — lane closures on 45th Street and Bull Creek Road during the duration of the construction,” the group wrote in an email to KXAN.
“According to extensive traffic studies conducted during the planning of The Grove, the new 45th Street and Bull Creek Road intersection will operate much more efficiently than it currently operates, and drivers will experience reduced wait times when the intersection is complete,” according to a press release.
Planned upgrades include adding dedicated left-turn lanes along 45th Street in both north and south directions. There will also be two lanes instead of one for vehicles turning left from Bull Creek Road onto 45th Street.
“By adding another left-turn lane, traffic engineering studies show the intersection will operate much more efficiently for drivers heading toward Mopac from Bull Creek Road,” they wrote.
Other improvements include radar technology on traffic lights, protected bike lanes, a 12-feet multi-use path for pedestrians and runners called the Bull Creek Greenway and a new Capital Metro bus stop.
“The advanced radar technology will detect all approaching vehicles in each direction and automatically adjust signal timing to meet the actual traffic demands at the intersection,” the developer wrote.
Milestone Community Builders began selling homes at The Grove in May 2018, after three years of planning. At the time, 7,000 people had shown interest in living there, the developer told KXAN. Developers expect the first round of tenants to move in this summer.