By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News
The environmental assessment is the remaining requirement for the $18 million RM 620/RM 2222 bypass road improvement project to go forward. Part of the environmental assessment is a public hearing and the Texas Department of Transportation is conducting a public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Vandegrift.
The community meeting will begin with an open house from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 9500 McNeil Dr. 78750. During this time, the public will be able to review available project information and exhibits, discuss the project with project staff, and ask questions. The formal presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a public comment period.\
“We need your voice at this hearing to ensure these projects happen and move forward as scheduled,” said Brian Thompto, chairman of the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association and traffic relief advocate.
Construction on these road improvements are planned to start next fall pending the outcome of the environmental assessment. The hearing is required due to the construction of a new roadway as part of the improvements.
“This is the official hearing where those for and against the project go on record as part of the environmental assessment. Students, parents, commuters, businesses and all impacted by traffic should attend and go on the official record,” Thompto explained.
The $18 million RM 620 and RM 2222 bypass road project was officially and fully funded in August, with the final piece coming from TxDOT. For the project, TxDOT is allocating $10.5 million and the city of Austin, $7.5 million.
The TxDOT funding was made official at the August commission meeting. “It is part of the 2018 Unified Transportation Program,” said Diann Hodges, spokesperson TxDOT Austin district.
“We have 12 categories of funding through the Unified Transportation Program. That was Category 2M funding, meaning, Metropolitan Corridor Projects,” Hodges said.
The cost of project 1 is $11 million and the cost of project 2, the bypass road, is $7 million.
Proposed RM 630/RM 2222 improvements:
- Addition of two lanes on RM 2222 through River Place Boulevard and McNeil Drive intersections (project 1),
- Improvement of RM 2222 and River Place Boulevard and McNeil Drive intersections to allow concurrent left turns (project 1),
- Addition of new connecting bypass road between RM 620 and RM 2222 to allow concurrent flow of northbound and southbound traffic between RM 620 and RM 2222 (project 2),
- Additional lane of travel along RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard north to the new bypass (project 2),
- Median barriers along RM 2222 north of the bypass to RM 620 (project 2).