By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The new bypass has never looked so promising with fresh pavement. The first layer of asphalt defines the connector road between RM 620 and RM 2222.
“The project team is starting to pave the new bypass road,” said Brad Wheelis, TxDOT public information officer. “This is the first pass of asphalt. There will be a couple more before paving is complete. They’re making some nice progress.”
Once paving is complete, the curb and sidewalk will be installed along the bypass.
“Preparations are underway to install a new traffic light at both ends of the bypass where it will connect to RM 620 and RM 2222,” Wheelis said.
Along 2222, a storm drain is being installed between the new bypass road and River Place Boulevard on the south side of RM 2222, he added.
The $39.4 million roadwork projects are to be complete by this year and will increase road capacity which will improve traffic flow.
In the last six years, more than 12,000 vehicle trips have been added each day through the RM 620/RM 2222 intersection, said Wheelis. About 50,000 vehicles pass through the Four Points intersection per day. That number was about 38,000 in 2014.
New connector road
The $15.8 million bypass connector road broke ground in December 2019 and is expected to be complete in late 2021.
After the trees were cleared on the bypass project in early 2020, crews suspended major work for some six months. This was done prior to the nesting season of migratory birds.
Then utility crews were at work relocating their lines to new poles along the bypass right of way. That had to be done before crews could start the road construction.
Widening RM 2222
The $23.6 million project is adding a third lane on RM 2222 between Bonaventure Drive and McNeil Drive. The project broke ground in January 2019 and the improvements are expected to be complete by May 2021.
The River Place Boulevard intersection includes an additional left-turn lane from northbound River Place Boulevard to westbound RM 2222 and an additional left-turn lane from southbound River Place Boulevard to eastbound RM 2222.
Now that work between River Place Boulevard and McNeil Drive is mostly finished, TxDOT has begun widening RM 2222 to accommodate a third lane between River Place Boulevard and the new connector road.
“This work includes storm drain installation, construction of the roadway and installing the median,” said Tyler Brudnick, Texas Department of Transportation project manager.
All utilities have finished relocating between Bonaventure Drive and Ribelin Ranch Drive including: Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN), Grande, Spectrum, and CenturyLink and AT&T.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the storm drainage installation, which was done earlier than expected.
“Reduced traffic volumes allowed for extended closures so crews could expedite the installation of storm drainage along RM 2222,” Brudnick said.