By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News
Some business owners on RM 2222 say the proposed changes with the RM 620 bypass road will affect their business in a negative way.
To help increase traffic flow in Four Points, Texas Department of Transportation is planning to create a connector road which would bypass the existing RM 620/RM 2222 intersection for traffic going to and from Steiner Ranch to McNeil Drive.
But some business owners say the issue is the road from the current RM 620 intersection to the new bypass road intersection. The changes would include replacing the center turn-lane with a divider or raised median. The current five-lane configuration, however, helps with getting big trucks and trailers in and out for some businesses.
“I’m very concerned about what’s going to happen,” said Skot Ingram. Fifty years ago, he bought the land where Skotz Inc. sits today and he has built the company to include 15 employees. “This is my livelihood,” he said.
Skotz is located next to Jiffy Lube at 11303 RM 2222 and creates steel products — some gigantic — for oil fields and wastewater projects, among other things.
Skotz has large trucks including 18-wheelers and bobtails that load and deliver products each week or so. To safely move the oversized loads, RM 2222 is briefly closed in both directions. Ingram is concerned that the road barriers will make it impossible for him to move his product.
Action Marine, which is located near Target at 11118 RM 2222, will be affected too. Aaron Sher, who has been in his current location since 1992, has many customers each week stopping in for sales, service and parts.
“We have a lot of traffic coming in and out,” Sher said. “It is scary. I don’t know how (the new configuration) will affect business.”
Action Marine is on the other side of people coming off of Lake Travis and as plans are now, “anybody coming from the lake will not be able to get into my business,” said Sher.
As it is proposed now, you “can’t bring in big boats, can’t bring trailers in and out,” Sher said. It will create a lot of U-turns at River Place, he added.
Bypass road project
TxDOT is working to alleviate congestion in Four Points with several proposed changes to the intersection including a bypass/connector road and constructing a six-lane section on RM 2222 from the proposed bypass intersection to Ribelin Ranch Road.
The goal of the bypass road and changes to RM 22222 is to increase traffic flow by redirecting traffic from south of the intersection that travels to and from RM 2222.
The project consists of adding an outside lane on northbound RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. The new proposed bypass road would be constructed from RM 620 along the Lower Colorado River Authority electrical transmission line right-of-way to intersect RM 2222. At this location, an additional travel lane would be added to both sides of RM 2222 to move the traffic past the Vandegrift entrance on McNeil Road.
The bypass project is projected to go out to bid next summer and is currently at the environmental evaluations and right-of-way acquisition stages.
The bypass road is estimated to take 60 percent of the traffic off of RM 2222 before McNeil Drive, according to TxDOT figures, leaving 40 percent on the current roadway, Ingram said. With that, he doesn’t think a divider will be needed with less traffic.
“Spend money over here (on bypass road or flyover) and don’t spend money over here (on existing RM 2222) if you don’t have to,” Ingram said. “It all boils down to: Don’t make changes, see if they’re needed first.”
Ingram said years ago, there was an idea for a flyover in this location and he would like to see it considered again.
“I’d rather them take that money and put in a flyover onto 620 without lights,” he suggested.
With 60 percent less traffic on the stretch of RM 2222 where he is located, Ingram said “it’s like going back to the ‘70s.” RM 2222 was a two-lane road when Ingram moved to the site.
Skotz Inc. history
“I’ve been here longer than anyone else in Four Points. In 1967, I moved out here. It was the middle of nowhere,” Ingram said. “I paid for it with my first job.”
He bought it and added welding equipment and would work on hot rods to pay for his hobby. “I’ve always been a welder,” he said.
He had a full-time job at the time and started getting contract work on the side. He built up the business over the years and it became his sole career in the early 1970s. He lived at the property for a span of time too.
In May, Ingram said the acquisition company told him they needed to come out and meet with him to acquire property in the front of his place. But Ingram said at this stage, he would rather have TxDOT consider his feedback more seriously.
KXAN reported recently that TxDOT has met with Ingram on four occasions and officials say they recognize he has unique challenges in terms of access to his business. They plan to continue to work with him and others in the area who have a similar situation.
TxDOT encourages public input by calling the public engagement officer at (512) 832-7107. Another public meeting on the intersection is expected to take place this fall.