New 620/Steiner Blvd. traffic signal lights up in weeks ahead

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Travis County and the Texas Department of Transportation have worked together to put in the new full-purpose traffic signal at the intersection of Steiner Ranch Boulevard and RM 620. Over the past couple of weeks, the signal has been installed and is scheduled to be fully operational by February.

“The traffic signal is being installed by TxDOT and should be operational by February of 2018,” said David Greear, Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources engineering division manager.

“Travis County provided funds in the amount of $250,000 to TxDOT for the installation, but TxDOT approved the installation and completed the design,” he said.

The reason behind the new signal is the volume of traffic on RM 620 during peak hours. A couple of years ago, Travis County contacted TxDOT to see how this intersection could be improved, and after looking at a myriad of different options, it was determined that a traffic signal was the best solution.

Originally Travis County had worked on several scenarios, either realigning Comanche Trail or Steiner Ranch Boulevard as it approaches RM 620 in order to create one intersection with four legs instead of the two T-intersections, but environmental and topographic concerns kept that from happening, Greear said.

“So Travis County approached TxDOT and asked for a signalized intersection at RM 620 at Steiner Ranch Boulevard that was in coordination with the signal at Comanche Trail,” Greear said.

The two lights will work together as one coordinated signal so as not to create any additional delays on RM 620, he added.

“The need is based on the additional traffic loads we are experiencing at the intersection of RM 620/Steiner Ranch due to the strong growth we have been experiencing in the area,” Greear said.

Additionally, there have been several accidents at this intersection that a traffic signal could alleviate.  

Long term, this signal will tie into the improvements being made to RM 620 and RM 2222 that is being referred to as the “620 Bypass Project”. There will be an additional northbound traffic lane added to RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard to the future bypass road.  The “620 Bypass Project” is currently under design by TxDOT and is anticipated to start construction in 2019.