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Author Topic: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project  (Read 11827 times)

ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project coming back to life, toll-free
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2021, 03:55:34 PM »

Eminent domain has been approved by the City of Austin for the needed properties along the corridor.

https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2021/04/council-barely-oks-eminent-domain-for-u-s-290-expansion/

Construction is planned to begin in Mid-2021.





 :awesomeface:

So did the ground breaking ceremony break their ground?  I mean, this is the latest in a bout 20 different timelines I have seen.  Latest word I heard was construction was supposed to start a year ago. 
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project coming back to life, toll-free
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2021, 07:47:09 PM »


So did the ground breaking ceremony break their ground?  I mean, this is the latest in a bout 20 different timelines I have seen.  Latest word I heard was construction was supposed to start a year ago. 

There is no mention of ground breaking actually occurring on the official web site, which says
https://www.oakhillparkway.com/

Quote
Crews are performing pre-construction activities along the Oak Hill Parkway corridor in advance of the official project groundbreaking in mid-2021.

I also expect to see the groundbreaking mentioned on the TxDOT web site or by the TxDOT Transportation Commission, and I have not seen any mention.

MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2021, 06:51:22 PM »

I drove through the area on June 21, going left from William Cannon and then going northwest on SH 71. There was no visible construction underway, and no visible pre-construction activity.

Traffic is really bad in that area, even in the middle of the day when I drove through. And it's not just at the Oak Hill Y. US 290 is a mess going west toward Dripping Springs, with a large mid-day back up at US 290 and RM 12 in Dripping Springs. Pity the folks who have to deal with that area every day. TxDOT is studying the corridor but there has been no activity on the study site in nearly 2 years.
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/austin/090919.html
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 07:08:09 PM by MaxConcrete »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2021, 03:17:04 PM »

Like I've been saying, US-290 going West out of the Austin metro needs to be upgraded to a full blown Interstate. At the very least TX DOT needs to be securing ROW for such a corridor.

The planned freeway upgrade thru the TX-71 "Y" westward to Circle Drive would be a good start. But what is really needed is a super highway corridor all the way thru or around Dripping Springs and all the way West to the US-281 corridor.

The Austin metro area has already been seeing rapid growth for the couple decades. I'm fairly certain the city limits population has breached the 1 million barrier and then some. The region is attracting major companies, both in terms of offices and manufacturing plants. The region is also attracting a lot of celebrities. Austin's "fashionable" image may exaggerate an already rapid growth situation. Despite some of the anti roads/freeway rhetoric coming from some policy makers within (and outside) Austin the situation with traffic will go from already pretty bad to downright desperate and dangerous. They have to do something. US-290 is a major East-West arterial that is overdue for improvement both East and West of Austin. Additionally the TX-45 corridor needs a great deal of improvement, in part so it can act as a bypass around the South side of Austin.
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thisdj78

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2021, 11:42:17 PM »

Like I've been saying, US-290 going West out of the Austin metro needs to be upgraded to a full blown Interstate. At the very least TX DOT needs to be securing ROW for such a corridor.

The planned freeway upgrade thru the TX-71 "Y" westward to Circle Drive would be a good start. But what is really needed is a super highway corridor all the way thru or around Dripping Springs and all the way West to the US-281 corridor.

The Austin metro area has already been seeing rapid growth for the couple decades. I'm fairly certain the city limits population has breached the 1 million barrier and then some. The region is attracting major companies, both in terms of offices and manufacturing plants. The region is also attracting a lot of celebrities. Austin's "fashionable" image may exaggerate an already rapid growth situation. Despite some of the anti roads/freeway rhetoric coming from some policy makers within (and outside) Austin the situation with traffic will go from already pretty bad to downright desperate and dangerous. They have to do something. US-290 is a major East-West arterial that is overdue for improvement both East and West of Austin. Additionally the TX-45 corridor needs a great deal of improvement, in part so it can act as a bypass around the South side of Austin.

Honestly, at this point it may be easier and quicker to run SH45 west over to 290 and that could act as a bypass of the 290/71 corridor:

https://goo.gl/maps/F3nCMWcbVULjDQeW7
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TXtoNJ

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2021, 10:28:44 AM »

https://bit.ly/3y7rEQ7 - Construction starts July 1
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2021, 12:15:18 PM »

Quote from: thisdj78
Honestly, at this point it may be easier and quicker to run SH45 west over to 290 and that could act as a bypass of the 290/71 corridor:

The US-290/TX-71 "Y" is going to be a freeway to freeway connection when the Oak Hill Y project is finished. The US-290 freeway will be extended another 2.5 miles of the split with TX-71. The freeway will end just past the "Y" split with Circle Drive.

I strongly believe the South portion of TX-45 should be fully built out from I-35 out West to US-290. The Oak Hill Y freeway project will end up needing to be extended farther West. Such a thing is do-able along the US-290 main lanes just past the point where TX-45 would intersect. It would be a tight squeeze in some places. The freeway structure might have to be either elevated or sunk below grade with service roads cantilevered over top. But some properties would have to be cleared. No way to avoid that.

Dripping Springs is a big obstacle for US-290 going out West of Austin. TX-45 would not be able to do anything about that. I think a new freeway/Interstate would have to go around the South side of Dripping Springs on a new alignment closer to Onion Creek. That freeway wouldn't be able to rejoin the existing US-290 corridor until it reached about 6 miles West of Dripping Springs. There is a lot of development right next to existing US-290 through there; existing US-290 on that stretch is an undivided 4-lane highway with a center turn lane. There isn't enough ROW width to lay in a 6-lane freeway flanked by frontage roads. A freeway on a new alignment could be built without the frontage roads to minimize ROW requirements.
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thisdj78

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2021, 01:19:14 AM »

Quote from: thisdj78
Honestly, at this point it may be easier and quicker to run SH45 west over to 290 and that could act as a bypass of the 290/71 corridor:

The US-290/TX-71 "Y" is going to be a freeway to freeway connection when the Oak Hill Y project is finished. The US-290 freeway will be extended another 2.5 miles of the split with TX-71. The freeway will end just past the "Y" split with Circle Drive.

I strongly believe the South portion of TX-45 should be fully built out from I-35 out West to US-290. The Oak Hill Y freeway project will end up needing to be extended farther West. Such a thing is do-able along the US-290 main lanes just past the point where TX-45 would intersect. It would be a tight squeeze in some places. The freeway structure might have to be either elevated or sunk below grade with service roads cantilevered over top. But some properties would have to be cleared. No way to avoid that.

Dripping Springs is a big obstacle for US-290 going out West of Austin. TX-45 would not be able to do anything about that. I think a new freeway/Interstate would have to go around the South side of Dripping Springs on a new alignment closer to Onion Creek. That freeway wouldn't be able to rejoin the existing US-290 corridor until it reached about 6 miles West of Dripping Springs. There is a lot of development right next to existing US-290 through there; existing US-290 on that stretch is an undivided 4-lane highway with a center turn lane. There isn't enough ROW width to lay in a 6-lane freeway flanked by frontage roads. A freeway on a new alignment could be built without the frontage roads to minimize ROW requirements.

True, the other option would be to extend Mopac and run it just south of Dripping Springs. And actually Id have it run south of 290 until just before 281.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2021, 02:33:11 AM »

^ Anything out to / bypassing Dripping Springs should at least cross / merge with US-290 just west of Oak Hill so that the new facility could serve that traffic load as well.

And as far as Mopac and SH-45, Id say give SH-45 the continuity, the Mopac would end at SH-45 and traffic could turn west on SH-45 to continue.
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thisdj78

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #59 on: July 02, 2021, 11:02:14 AM »

^ Anything out to / bypassing Dripping Springs should at least cross / merge with US-290 just west of Oak Hill so that the new facility could serve that traffic load as well.

And as far as Mopac and SH-45, Id say give SH-45 the continuity, the Mopac would end at SH-45 and traffic could turn west on SH-45 to continue.

There are actually plans in the CAMPO 2045 that show Mopac being extended but it goes toward San Marcos and ends north of town at Ranch Road 12.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2021, 12:07:42 PM »

Quote from: thisdj78
Honestly, at this point it may be easier and quicker to run SH45 west over to 290 and that could act as a bypass of the 290/71 corridor:

The US-290/TX-71 "Y" is going to be a freeway to freeway connection when the Oak Hill Y project is finished. The US-290 freeway will be extended another 2.5 miles of the split with TX-71. The freeway will end just past the "Y" split with Circle Drive.

I strongly believe the South portion of TX-45 should be fully built out from I-35 out West to US-290. The Oak Hill Y freeway project will end up needing to be extended farther West. Such a thing is do-able along the US-290 main lanes just past the point where TX-45 would intersect. It would be a tight squeeze in some places. The freeway structure might have to be either elevated or sunk below grade with service roads cantilevered over top. But some properties would have to be cleared. No way to avoid that.

Dripping Springs is a big obstacle for US-290 going out West of Austin. TX-45 would not be able to do anything about that. I think a new freeway/Interstate would have to go around the South side of Dripping Springs on a new alignment closer to Onion Creek. That freeway wouldn't be able to rejoin the existing US-290 corridor until it reached about 6 miles West of Dripping Springs. There is a lot of development right next to existing US-290 through there; existing US-290 on that stretch is an undivided 4-lane highway with a center turn lane. There isn't enough ROW width to lay in a 6-lane freeway flanked by frontage roads. A freeway on a new alignment could be built without the frontage roads to minimize ROW requirements.

True, the other option would be to extend Mopac and run it just south of Dripping Springs. And actually Id have it run south of 290 until just before 281.

I think if a new interstate stays a few miles north of US-290 it would do the least amount of damage.  They would branch off at the east Circle Drive intersection and the new interstate stay north, past the US-281/290 section and come back to 290 around Stonewall. 
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aboges26

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2021, 09:04:18 PM »

There will likely be a short bypass of the immediate Dripping Springs area in the end, but over all US 290 will ultimately get piecemeal updated on its current route through ROW acquisition and frontage road development like how it is from Oak Hill to Circle Dr.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #62 on: July 15, 2021, 10:47:21 AM »

I noticed last week on my daily commute from Dripping Springs to Austin via US-290, signs noting upcoming construction have ben placed.  A sign in this location notes that the construction will be for the next seven miles.  From that point, seven miles puts you almost to the Mopac/US-290/SH-71 interchange.  The signs are up but there isn't a sign of any construction, but it makes me think, is this for the freeway we have been promised for over 40 years?

A funny side note:  The west bound direction at that same point has a sign noting the end of construction, and a speed limit sign returning traffic from 55 MPH to 60 MPH.  One little problem, the speed limit has been 55 MPH from Austin to Dripping Springs for a year now, so there is a speed limit sign in that sequence allowing you to go 60 when you should be going 55.  The eastbound side has a speed limit sign "dropping" the limit to 55 MPH.  Again, it already was 55. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #63 on: July 15, 2021, 11:03:06 AM »

Yeah, that looks like the Western-most limits of the Oak Hill Y project. The freeway would extend just West of Circle Drive and then would take some distance to transition back down into the existing undivided 5-lane street.

The Westbound traffic jam in that Street View image of US-290 (by the Bat Cave batting cages and corner of Ledgstone Terrace) clearly underscores the need of a freeway going through there. The traffic jam is going on for miles. The same imagery is available in Google Earth. The freeway would need to be more than a standard 4-lane freeway. It would need to be more like 6 or 8 lanes getting out West of Dripping Springs before dropping down to a standard 4-lane facility. Austin is a huge metro. It needs a serious East-West Interstate.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #64 on: July 15, 2021, 11:22:18 AM »

Yeah, that looks like the Western-most limits of the Oak Hill Y project. The freeway would extend just West of Circle Drive and then would take some distance to transition back down into the existing undivided 5-lane street.

The Westbound traffic jam in that Street View image of US-290 (by the Bat Cave batting cages and corner of Ledgstone Terrace) clearly underscores the need of a freeway going through there. The traffic jam is going on for miles. The same imagery is available in Google Earth. The freeway would need to be more than a standard 4-lane freeway. It would need to be more like 6 or 8 lanes getting out West of Dripping Springs before dropping down to a standard 4-lane facility. Austin is a huge metro. It needs a serious East-West Interstate.

Yes.  On top of the usual heavy traffic, about twice a week I sit in a traffic jam comparable to the one you are talking about in the image.  Always, its nothing other than too many people on a highway littered in traffic lights.  There is no wreck.  There is no stalled car.  It's just too many people.  Yes, there needs to be a freeway past Dripping Springs.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #66 on: July 16, 2021, 12:31:43 PM »

https://www.kvue.com/mobile/article/traffic/oak-hill-parkway-project-y-construction/269-c9476988-02b1-461c-ba49-e358ade2b7a3?fbclid=IwAR2c6D9lB2aK0aHnALX23tRclY46av_d23-A_H8_p--PzeDpPRsDMvI4t1Q

That's good news.

Hopefully activity will start moving at a faster pace now. The project has been in slow motion. It has been 14 months since the winning bidder was selected! Covid probably had some influence in the long delays.
September 2018: bids solicited
April 2020: winning bid selected
July 2021: construction starts

Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #67 on: July 16, 2021, 02:11:20 PM »

Hopefully by the 2025-26 time frame for when the Oak Hill Y project will be completed TX DOT will have plans together for extending the freeway farther West. They gotta get moving on that.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #68 on: July 16, 2021, 04:43:08 PM »

Hopefully by the 2025-26 time frame for when the Oak Hill Y project will be completed TX DOT will have plans together for extending the freeway farther West. They gotta get moving on that.

Yes. I hope.  Here is the thing.  It will be a hard road ahead to get the freeway to Dripping Springs, but I honestly think that the Oak Hill part is the hardest of them all.  The way anti-freeway sentiments seem to be the strongest there.  From Circle Drive going west, the attitude gets more conservative, meaning, pro progress.  Yes you are dealing with rich people that way, but they seem to be more affluent good ol boys, not your normal liberal Austinites.  I have watched this project stall literally since 1985. 


On a side note, it's funny to me to watch a freeway revolt go on for that long of a time, so that when construction actually starts, it begins in a different world that when the plans were first drafted.  Meaning, all the design standards and materials have changed since it was first put to meetings.  The side note is what it would look like if it were built back when they first planned it vs. when they actually build it. 

Another side note:  I don't mean to talk so rough about this, but I notice, stopped in traffic (of course) yesterday that tapped on this guardrail are posters, one saying the answer to improving traffic isn't wider roads (I am not going to get into how mornic I think that statement is).  The trees just beyond the guardrail had posterboard nailed to them with a drawing of a human face on them, I guess symbolizing each of those trees are a human?  What I don't understand is, they are trees in a public right-of-way right next to a busy highway.  Did any of the tree huggers that posted all that stuff about the construction actually come to relax or have a picnic under any of those trees?  The area is very overgrown so I don't think anyone has been there in years.  So, I ask, if you never cared about them before, why do you care if they are being removed?  Why are the trees in the many parks we have not enough trees?  I am also sure all of those people who put those signs up also get very annoyed in traffic, so you can't have it both ways.  Sorry, but I seriously don't understand that logic and never will. 
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TheBox

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #69 on: July 26, 2021, 11:00:53 AM »

Now when will they ever do anything with US-290 between Austin and Houston, that isn't just physical dividing it with a median in some places recently a few years ago (according to Google Maps at least)? Which don't get me wrong, is a step in the right direction, but there is still lots of work to be done, like updating the TX-36 intersection by being more direct, and of course the long-overdue Giddings bypass.

It also looks like there's enough space in Manor and Elgin (as well as in between those) for a highway to be there but that's just me. (tho several businesses may have to be shut down to make space for it)

Here's what i was referring to, when it comes to these new medians
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1863859,-96.9955395,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2099237,-97.107191,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2341607,-97.1938925,402m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2998362,-97.2892712,402m/data=!3m1!1e3

It doesn't even need to be 100% freeway/interstate, it just needs to be a non-stop expressway between Austin and Houston at the very least

And what's the point of complaining something like that if it's not even within the city of Austin (by that, i mean inside TX-130 highway)?
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #70 on: July 26, 2021, 11:46:35 AM »

Now when will they ever do anything with US-290 between Austin and Houston, that isn't just physical dividing it with a median in some places recently a few years ago (according to Google Maps at least)? Which don't get me wrong, is a step in the right direction, but there is still lots of work to be done, like updating the TX-36 intersection by being more direct, and of course the long-overdue Giddings bypass.

It also looks like there's enough space in Manor and Elgin (as well as in between those) for a highway to be there but that's just me. (tho several businesses may have to be shut down to make space for it)

Here's what i was referring to, when it comes to these new medians
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1863859,-96.9955395,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2099237,-97.107191,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2341607,-97.1938925,402m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2998362,-97.2892712,402m/data=!3m1!1e3

It doesn't even need to be 100% freeway/interstate, it just needs to be a non-stop expressway between Austin and Houston at the very least

And what's the point of complaining something like that if it's not even within the city of Austin (by that, i mean inside TX-130 highway)?

Eh, 290 is a lost cause.  My money goes to upgrading TX-71 to a full freeway from Columbus to Austin.  shorter distance and can be done way cheaper and a more direct link.  I hate driving on 290 east of Austin. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #71 on: July 26, 2021, 02:43:10 PM »

Both US-290 and TX-71 going East out of Austin need Interstate quality ugprades. Add the TX-80 and TX-46 corridors going out of San Marcos and New Braunfels. The Austin-San Antonio region has a ridiculously high population that only looks like it will continue growing fast.

All four of those corridors could turn into "lost causes," covered up with development if actions aren't taken soon to start preserving ROW. TX-71 from TX-130 to Bastrop is looking every bit as challenging to upgrade as any part of US-290.
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thisdj78

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #72 on: July 26, 2021, 07:37:48 PM »

Now when will they ever do anything with US-290 between Austin and Houston, that isn't just physical dividing it with a median in some places recently a few years ago (according to Google Maps at least)? Which don't get me wrong, is a step in the right direction, but there is still lots of work to be done, like updating the TX-36 intersection by being more direct, and of course the long-overdue Giddings bypass.

It also looks like there's enough space in Manor and Elgin (as well as in between those) for a highway to be there but that's just me. (tho several businesses may have to be shut down to make space for it)

Here's what i was referring to, when it comes to these new medians
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1863859,-96.9955395,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2099237,-97.107191,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2341607,-97.1938925,402m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2998362,-97.2892712,402m/data=!3m1!1e3

It doesn't even need to be 100% freeway/interstate, it just needs to be a non-stop expressway between Austin and Houston at the very least

And what's the point of complaining something like that if it's not even within the city of Austin (by that, i mean inside TX-130 highway)?

Eh, 290 is a lost cause.  My money goes to upgrading TX-71 to a full freeway from Columbus to Austin.  shorter distance and can be done way cheaper and a more direct link.  I hate driving on 290 east of Austin.

I noted this in the Austin Projects thread, but SH71 grade separation construction is going on as we speak on several stop lights between SH130 and Bastrop. Currently in the utility relocation stage.
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sprjus4

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2021, 07:43:32 PM »

Now when will they ever do anything with US-290 between Austin and Houston, that isn't just physical dividing it with a median in some places recently a few years ago (according to Google Maps at least)? Which don't get me wrong, is a step in the right direction, but there is still lots of work to be done, like updating the TX-36 intersection by being more direct, and of course the long-overdue Giddings bypass.

It also looks like there's enough space in Manor and Elgin (as well as in between those) for a highway to be there but that's just me. (tho several businesses may have to be shut down to make space for it)

Here's what i was referring to, when it comes to these new medians
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.1863859,-96.9955395,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2099237,-97.107191,403m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2341607,-97.1938925,402m/data=!3m1!1e3
https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2998362,-97.2892712,402m/data=!3m1!1e3

It doesn't even need to be 100% freeway/interstate, it just needs to be a non-stop expressway between Austin and Houston at the very least

And what's the point of complaining something like that if it's not even within the city of Austin (by that, i mean inside TX-130 highway)?

Eh, 290 is a lost cause.  My money goes to upgrading TX-71 to a full freeway from Columbus to Austin.  shorter distance and can be done way cheaper and a more direct link.  I hate driving on 290 east of Austin.
Agreed on the points about SH-71, though its roughly the same distance wise as US-290.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Austin: US 290 Oak Hill Y project
« Reply #74 on: July 26, 2021, 11:29:22 PM »

US-290 and TX-71 going out of Austin point to different regions of the Houston metro. There is a LOT of development (and affluence) on the North side of the Houston metro. US-290 is a superior link to that part of Houston and the growing, Northern reaches of the Austin metro. TX-71 does more to link up with the South sides of Austin and portions of Houston along and South of I-10.
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