TxDOT says: More lanes coming to RM 620 N.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Road improvements estimated to cost $500 million are coming to RM 620 North from the bridge near Mansfield Dam to US 183 to increase mobility. The details are still being worked out but the Texas Department of Transportation is working on adding lanes and raised medians as well as flyovers at some intersections on RM 620. 

Long term ideas at this point call for a flyover intersection at RM 620 and RM 2222, Bruce Byron, TxDOT spokesperson, said at last week’s  Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association meeting.  

Additionally, there “halfway from Quinlan Park to 2222, the elevated part will start and be fully elevated by the time the road hits 2222,” Byron said.

Byron did not give a specific timeline on these TxDOT considerations but did say this project could likely be a 10 year project once it is started until it is completed.

TxDOT is working on a corridor refinement study of RM 620 North. Over the long term, the project will ultimately create 10 lanes and increase mobility along the RM 620 corridor.  

Byron gave local residents updates on the progress of these findings this week at both the SRNA meeting on Aug. 13 and the West Austin Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday.

The purpose of the “RM 620 North Study” is to further analyze and develop the mobility improvements identified from the RM 620 Corridor Study,  that study concluded in February 2017 and encompassed 18.8-miles, from US 183 to SH 71. 

RM 620 North

Last week the Texas Department of Transportation shared “Corridor Refinement Study” information at local meetings. There are three sections along RM 620 North, from Mansfield Dam to to US 183, that are targeted for mobility improvements.

Sections 1 through 3 extend from the bridge at Mansfield Dam to US 183 and consists of approximately 9.8 miles. 

This segment of RM 620 is an existing 4-lane undivided roadway with a two-way center left-turn lane. 

Several proposed improvements are being carried forward from the RM 620 Corridor Study.

From Mansfield Dam bridge going north, four lanes “should be sufficient from the dam to Quinlan Park,” Byron said. Then it would transition to a six-lane divided road with a raised median from Quinlan to RM 2222 and beyond to US 183, he said. Long term demand shows the need for four additional lanes or 10 total from RM 2222 to US 183.

Mansfield Dam to Quinlan Park Road 

o Reconstruct the existing 4-lane rural road to a 4-lane urban road with shoulders, a raised median and turn lanes 

o Construct bike/pedestrian improvements (separated from automobile traffic) 

Quinlan Park Road to US 183 (midterm)

o Reconstruct the existing roadway to a 6-lane divided road with a raised median and turn lanes 

o Construct bike/pedestrian improvements (separated from automobile traffic) 

“From 2222 to 183, we’ll need at least 10 lanes, there are five now,” Byron said.

Investigations of the long-term alternatives as well as possible new alternatives are in progress to determine impacts to right of way, natural environments, construction costs, constructability, economic and social impacts. Roadway configuration considerations may include expanding at ground level, utilizing elevated structures, or a combination of both, according to TxDOT.

RM 2222 to US 183 (long term)

Construct an additional 4-lane limited access roadway (adding two more lanes in each direction) connecting US 183 / SH 45 N with RM 620 and RM 2222. This would Incorporate flyovers into this design at the US 183 / SH 45N interchange and at RM 2222. 

The proposed ideas are alternatives. The preferred long-term roadway configuration may be a combination of the three options listed, according to TxDOT.

Option A Construct the additional four lanes on elevated structure along the median of RM 620  

Option B Construct the additional four lanes “at grade” or ground level on RM 620 with acquired right of way only on either side of the existing roadway. 

Option C Construct the additional four lanes at ground level on RM 620 with acquired right of way only on both sides of the existing roadway. 

Due to the proximity of existing developments adjacent to the proposed road expansion, critical decisions regarding additional right of way will need to be made. These decisions will be determined after the community and property owners provide input. TxDOT has not made any final design decisions and has not identified any right of way to be acquired/purchased for projects. 

Acquiring right of way is not as big of an issue in the Four Points area as it is further north on RM 620 where it is a much tighter road.

“Elevated reduces the amount of right of way needed,” Byron said.

But elevated roads cost twice as much and tunneling to build roads is triple, he said.

TxDOT states that the goal of all proposed alternatives is to reduce delay, improve mobility for through traffic and local access, accommodate active transportation modes (walk/bike), and enhance safety. The public is invited to provide input via an upcoming questionnaire, coordination and stakeholder meetings. The corridor refinement will result in a recommended alternative and an implementation plan that suggests a logical timeline for long-term improvements. 

As part of this study effort, TxDOT will be coordinating with state and local officials from Travis and Williamson Counties as well as the cities of Austin and Cedar Park. Additional stakeholder community meetings will be conducted including public meetings and comment gathering. A tentative open house for the RM 620 North area is scheduled for Oct. 22.

RM 620 at Anderson Mill 

In December, TxDOT is scheduled to begin the detailed design of mid-term improvement at Anderson Mill Road and RM 620. This will be the basis for identifying the right-of-way footprint necessary for the mid- and long-term improvements at Anderson Mill Road, which Byron said was the worst intersection on RM 620. 

The improvements to Anderson Mill/RM 620 have been funded for construction “but we need to make sure it matches with the other work to be done on RM 620,” Byron said. 

RM 620 South

RM 620 South currently consists of Sections 4 through 6, extending from Hudson Bend Road to SH 71. Significant portions of these sections have been identified for funding and are currently being evaluated for environmental impacts and schematic design.  

For more information, contact Bruce Byron, TxDOT Public Engagement Officer, bruce.byron@txdot.gov or 512-832-7107.