AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Transportation is working to ease drivers’ headaches in northwest Austin.
On Wednesday, they broke ground on a new bypass road that will be located a mile north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard to Ranch Road 2222.
The ramp will connect RR 620 to 2222 East of the Four Points area.
Right now, 50,000 drivers make their way down the Four Points Intersection every day. TxDOT officials say that’s up 12,000 drivers in the last year.
The bypass is expected to ease commutes both east and westbound. Steiner Ranch residents say this is something they’ve been fighting to ease their commute for years now.
“It’s a big impact on our lives,” said Steiner Ranch Resident Brian Thompto. “It’s an hour investment, every morning. Just to get four miles down the road.”
Sleeping in is not an option for this Steiner Ranch Resident and dad of two Vandergrift Highschoolers.
“We’re really looking forward to this relief,” said Thompto.
Thompto’s relief for now is bypassing the Four Point Intersection when he takes his kids to school, and again on his way to work.
“We know this will make it better, it wont fix the problem,“ said Thompto.
The backup goes beyond the 4 Points intersection. TxDOT is currently working on widening 2222 from River Place Boulevard to Ribelin Ranch Drive. That project will wrap up next summer.
The next steps are to figure out how to ease the 620 Mansfield Dam backup.
“It would involve some kind of lane expansion,” said one TxDOT engineer.
Expansions for both 620 North near Mansfield Dam and 620 South are currently in the concept phase.
“How are we going to do that,” Brad Wheelis. “What’s it going to look like?We haven’t determined that yet.”
Brad Wheelis says it could grow as large as 10 lanes, all told, increasing turning options and adding signals.
One thing’s for sure:
“They have to actually expand RM 620 in the long run for the growth that’s happening,” said Thompto.
TxDOT and the City of Austin bypass project is expected to cost $16 million, with a completion date of Spring 2021.
TxDOT currently has a feasibility study out for the rest of the 620 expansion. They say they plan on collecting the public’s opinion sometime this spring.