Fish & Wildlife to meet about 2nd road to VHS

The second access road behind Vandegrift would cost over $15 million and be one mile with a 100-foot right of way and an 800-foot bridge to protect habitat below.

Four Points News

Especially with the start of school this week, traffic in Four Points is backed up and congested including long lines going to and from Vandegrift. Currently, drivers can only access VHS and Four Points Middle School from McNeil Drive. The scenario serves as a reminder to the community that a secondary access road is needed.

Leander ISD is trying to build a second access road. It is seeking an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit to construct a proposed one-mile, $15 million-plus road behind VHS.

This would support some 3,700 students and staff who attend and work at VHS and FPMS. The additional road would address traffic safety concerns and provide an emergency exit.’

LISD hosted a public forum at VHS on May 30 and launched the #BuildTheRoad social media campaign in an effort to get Washington D.C. lawmakers’ attention on the need for the additional road.
The efforts did get attention from national lawmakers.

“LISD will meet with local representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) in September to review the district’s proposal,” said Corey Ryan, chief communications officer with LISD.
Since 2013, the Four Points Traffic Committee has been working to get a second access road to VHS.

“Fish and Wildlife has reviewed our proposal and the local branch (FWS) will meet with us on September 13 at 2 p.m.,” said Pam Waggoner, committee founder and president of LISD Board of Trustees. She posted about the upcoming meeting on the FPTC Facebook page. “We are moving folks. Stay involved. We are closer than we have ever been before.”

LISD has also been in talks with local and state elected officials and agencies about the proposed road for some time.

If approved, the proposed route will run through the Balcones Canyonland Preserve.

“Environmental studies have shown that the impact on protected species, their habitats, and the environment overall will be minimal, as the district would construct the road in a formally designated infrastructure corridor, which already contains three high-voltage electric transmission lines as well as buried water mains,” Ryan said.

In addition to working with the FWS, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees took action on Aug. 17 to include design and mitigation costs for the access road in its Nov. 7 bond election. The access road project totals $3 million on the $454.4 million bond proposition.