TxDOT on 620 N

Bruce Byron, Texas Department of Transportation project manager, spoke at the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association meeting on June. 18.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The Texas Department of Transportation gave a brief update on plans for RM 620 N at the recent Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association meeting: more delineators are coming to Four Points and studies continue on how to expand the road into six lanes.  

Bruce Byron, project manager for TxDOT, spoke at the SRNA meeting on June 18 in Steiner Ranch.

In addition to resurfacing RM 620 near Steiner, Byron shared that there are other short-term fixes in the works for the Four Points area including adding more reflective delineators, center lane barriers, road markings and guardrails where needed.

In the near future, delineators — similar to those near RM 2222 and Ribelin Ranch Drive — will be added near the RM 620/RM 2222 intersection and Walgreens, Byron said.

He also updated the newest Four Points traffic signal at RM 620 and Steiner Ranch Boulevard, which does not always synch up with the light at Comanche Trail.

“After a light goes in, they time it with their best guess and then have to see how the public reacts to it and see how it works. They continuously reanalyze how it works,” Byron said.  

He also updated the proposed widening of RM 620 N, which is likely years away.

TxDOT has been proposing for years the expansion of RM 620 from Quinlan Park Road at Steiner Ranch to U.S. Hwy 183 into a six-lane divided roadway, similar to FM 1431 in Cedar Park.

“There are two studies going on (currently) with engineers and consultants, one short term and one long term,” Byron said.  

“Since this is the only corridor, we need to make it as crash-proof as possible,” Byron said. “One of the big debates, is go up to make it elevated or go out.”

TxDOT officials are considering what to do, either to widen the road or possibly elevate the road.

“We are looking at the safety piece,” Byron said. “We could add more lanes now but there would be no bike room or shoulder.”

Shoulders are necessary to keep the roadway safe.

One of the challenges for this stretch of RM 620 N is the limited amount of right-of-way that TxDOT owns, according to TxDOT. The amount of right-of-way needed varies widely. For most of this section, TxDOT currently has about 150 feet of right-of-way; however, there are some areas near US 183 where TxDOT has 400 feet and some areas where it has only about 100 feet.      

For a six-lane roadway with sidewalks, trails, and drainage, it takes at least 150 feet, according to TxDOT officials.

Improvements to the road are warranted.

TxDOT’s 2015 feasibility study for RM 620 found that between the years of 2010-2015, there was a total of 1,908 crashes on the entire stretch of RM620. There were 398 crashes during that time period from Anderson Mill Road to RM 2222, and 285 crashes from RM 2222 to Quinlan Park Road. The majority of those crashes, 556, occurred in Lakeway.

Traffic counts from Anderson Mill Road to RM 2222 were 43,400 in 24-hours during that span of time and 44,400 from RM 2222 to Quinlan Park Road, according to the study.

Even though it is likely years away, TxDOT is considering all angles of the project including what type of median will be best. A 1-foot curb won’t stop a major accident and there are challenges with cables and cars flipping over them, Byron said.