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Author Topic: Williamson County (Northern Austin Metro) Projects/2035 Transportation Plan  (Read 3709 times)

thisdj78

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I happened to come across the county 2035 plan map and was surprised by the number of proposed controlled access highways. They must expect the area to be the next ďInland EmpireĒ:

https://i.imgur.com/r7cYOOa_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 09:31:16 PM by thisdj78 »
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PastTense

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That map is dated March of 2016. How many of proposed controlled access highways have they started on in the last 5 years?
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MaxConcrete

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That's an interesting map. The updated version of the map on the Williamson County web site, approved 7/21/2020, still has all the controlled access corridors.
https://www.wilco.org/language/es-mx/Departments/Infrastructure/County-Engineer-Road-and-Bridge/Long-Range-Transportation-Plan

Realistically, very of those controlled access routes will ever be built. That map would have been better titled "Conceptual map of potential controlled access facilities"

The only new controlled access highways that were moving forward until recently were FM 2243 between IH-35 and US 183, and the adjacent section of the Southwest bypass. FM 2243 was about to have its frontage roads built, but then the funding was shifted to IH-35, and I don't know its current status. It seems to be suspended indefinitely. One side of the frontage roads on a short section of the Southwest bypass recently opened, and the right-of-way for the full corridor is visible in aerial views.

Many of the routes in the map make no sense due to their proximity to other routes, for example FM 734 being so close to US 183A, and FM 2243 and FM 1431 serving the same directional movement so close together.

I'd be interested to know if Williamson County is securing right-of-way for any of those routes other than the Southwest Bypass and FM 2243. It takes a lot of money to buy up all the right-of-way. Just consider Collin County (north Dallas), where they've been busy for 10+ years (and spending a lot of money) to get ROW for a section of the Collin County Outer Loop.

thisdj78

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That map is dated March of 2016. How many of proposed controlled access highways have they started on in the last 5 years?

5 years isnít that long ago, but ROW acquisition already started and construction set to begin this year on this highway:

https://www.wilco.org/Departments/Infrastructure/Projects/Precinct-4/Southeast-Loop
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thisdj78

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That's an interesting map. The updated version of the map on the Williamson County web site, approved 7/21/2020, still has all the controlled access corridors.
https://www.wilco.org/language/es-mx/Departments/Infrastructure/County-Engineer-Road-and-Bridge/Long-Range-Transportation-Plan

Realistically, very of those controlled access routes will ever be built. That map would have been better titled "Conceptual map of potential controlled access facilities"

The only new controlled access highways that were moving forward until recently were FM 2243 between IH-35 and US 183, and the adjacent section of the Southwest bypass. FM 2243 was about to have its frontage roads built, but then the funding was shifted to IH-35, and I don't know its current status. It seems to be suspended indefinitely. One side of the frontage roads on a short section of the Southwest bypass recently opened, and the right-of-way for the full corridor is visible in aerial views.

Many of the routes in the map make no sense due to their proximity to other routes, for example FM 734 being so close to US 183A, and FM 2243 and FM 1431 serving the same directional movement so close together.

I'd be interested to know if Williamson County is securing right-of-way for any of those routes other than the Southwest Bypass and FM 2243. It takes a lot of money to buy up all the right-of-way. Just consider Collin County (north Dallas), where they've been busy for 10+ years (and spending a lot of money) to get ROW for a section of the Collin County Outer Loop.

The Southeast Bypass around Hutto is moving forward. Not sure how COVID impacted it, but they were in ROW acquisition phase as of the last update I posted above. I live about 5 minutes from where it will connect to 130, so Iíll keep an eye out for any construction activity.

University Blvd/Chandler Rd already has the ROW to be a limited access highway, so no need there unless they decided to build it all the way to I-35:

https://goo.gl/maps/rr48VhQVM59MPgJa7

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thisdj78

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Interesting, I just looked at Google Satellite image of the proposed Southeast Loop route and the ROW has already been cleared (the Google images appear to be taken in the last 2-3 months). These houses arenít that old, maybe 15+ years? Now I know why the church to the east is building a new location farther back from the road.

https://i.imgur.com/Ea8dm1P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

https://goo.gl/maps/Kri9E5CaeSVLi8cN9
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 01:38:00 AM by thisdj78 »
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MaxConcrete

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I looked more closely at the Williamson County web site, and there is wealth of information about future road improvements.

Four of the proposed controlled-access corridors have preliminary schematics.

If only these four projects actually get built (and none of the other controlled access projects move forward), it will be a big benefit to future long-term mobility of Williamson county. Of course, the right-of-way needs to be secured or protected now to be able to get these projects done sometime in the future.

I discovered that a public meeting was just held for the RM 2243 project
https://www.wilco.org/rm2243
The schematic for this public meeting is basically the same as the schematic presented by TxDOT in 2018. According to the project web page, phase 1 consists of construction of one side of the frontage roads and is slated to start work in late 2022. There's no mention of this project on the TxDOT letting schedule, but late 2022 is FY 2023, and the TxDOT schedule only goes through FY 2022.




« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 01:28:19 PM by MaxConcrete »
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thisdj78

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    I looked more closely at the Williamson County web site, and there is wealth of information about future road improvements.

    Four of the proposed controlled-access corridors have preliminary schematics.

    Thanks! I found some more detailed schematics as I couldnít figure out if the road would be completely limited access, looks like it will beÖat least for the first segments:

    https://www.wilco.org/Portals/0/Departments/Infrastructure/Corridors/20200417-SoutheastLoop-PublicUltimateFinalSchematicRollPlot1of2.pdf?ver=2020-04-20-164839-207

    https://www.wilco.org/Portals/0/Departments/Infrastructure/Corridors/20200417-SoutheastLoop-PublicUltimateFinalSchematicRollPlot2of2.pdf?ver=2020-04-20-165042-527

    [/list]
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    SquonkHunter

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    Interesting, I just looked at Google Satellite image of the proposed Southeast Loop route and the ROW has already been cleared (the Google images appear to be taken in the last 2-3 months). These houses arenít that old, maybe 15+ years? Now I know why the church to the east is building a new location farther back from the road.

    https://i.imgur.com/Ea8dm1P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

    https://goo.gl/maps/Kri9E5CaeSVLi8cN9

    I travel this route quite often. A direct route from Toll 130 to FM 1660 would be a great improvement over the current inadequate county roads. With all the explosive growth in Williamson county it will be a challenge to keep up with traffic demands. In short, no matter what they do they cannot build it fast enough.
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    thisdj78

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    Interesting, I just looked at Google Satellite image of the proposed Southeast Loop route and the ROW has already been cleared (the Google images appear to be taken in the last 2-3 months). These houses arenít that old, maybe 15+ years? Now I know why the church to the east is building a new location farther back from the road.

    https://i.imgur.com/Ea8dm1P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

    https://goo.gl/maps/Kri9E5CaeSVLi8cN9

    I travel this route quite often. A direct route from Toll 130 to FM 1660 would be a great improvement over the current inadequate county roads. With all the explosive growth in Williamson county it will be a challenge to keep up with traffic demands. In short, no matter what they do they cannot build it fast enough.

    Iím glad to see the county at least try to plan for it. They have a lot more limited access highways planned than Travis County does.
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    kernals12

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    Reminds me of the 1966 DFW freeway plan: just draw lines on a map to see what sticks
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    bwana39

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    Interesting, I just looked at Google Satellite image of the proposed Southeast Loop route and the ROW has already been cleared (the Google images appear to be taken in the last 2-3 months). These houses arenít that old, maybe 15+ years? Now I know why the church to the east is building a new location farther back from the road.

    https://i.imgur.com/Ea8dm1P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

    https://goo.gl/maps/Kri9E5CaeSVLi8cN9

    I travel this route quite often. A direct route from Toll 130 to FM 1660 would be a great improvement over the current inadequate county roads. With all the explosive growth in Williamson county it will be a challenge to keep up with traffic demands. In short, no matter what they do they cannot build it fast enough.

    Iím glad to see the county at least try to plan for it. They have a lot more limited access highways planned than Travis County does.

    Williamson County is the (conservative) northern suburbs to Austin and Travis County.   It is much like Collin and Denton Counties to Dallas / Ft Worth or Galveston or Montgomery Counties to Houston. Austin is against a lot. Round Rock and Williamson County are ready to  do what it takes to grow and to move to and from that growth.
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    Let's build what we need as economically as possible.

    MaxConcrete

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    Re: Williamson County (Northern Austin Suburbs) 2035 Transportation Plan/Map
    « Reply #12 on: October 06, 2021, 07:03:34 PM »

    Construction on $87 million in work on the Southeast Loop at US 79 is slated for bidding in February.
    https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

    TxDOT has a posting for the EA and Williamson County has more info on their site. The planned project will build 2 miles of frontage roads on a 350-foot-wide corridor. The frontage roads will go over US 79.
    https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/austin/100421.html
    https://www.wilco.org/FM3349
    According to this page, there is already some minor work in progress further west (separate from this project)
    https://www.wilco.org/Departments/Infrastructure/Projects/Precinct-4/Southeast-Loop

    This work is immediately west and mostly alongside the proposed site for the planned $17 billion Samsung semiconductor factory (which is on the south side of US 79). So I'm thinking this project may be contingent on Samsung selecting that site. I'm hoping it moves forward regardless of Samsung's decision.

    If Samsung does select the site, I'm thinking the section of the Southeast Loop connecting to SH 130 will need to be built as soon as possible to provide access to the facility.

    thisdj78

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    Re: Williamson County (Northern Austin Suburbs) 2035 Transportation Plan/Map
    « Reply #13 on: October 09, 2021, 01:17:45 PM »

    Construction on $87 million in work on the Southeast Loop at US 79 is slated for bidding in February.
    https://www.dot.state.tx.us/insdtdot/orgchart/cmd/cserve/let/2022/williamson.htm#348601008

    TxDOT has a posting for the EA and Williamson County has more info on their site. The planned project will build 2 miles of frontage roads on a 350-foot-wide corridor. The frontage roads will go over US 79.
    https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/austin/100421.html
    https://www.wilco.org/FM3349
    According to this page, there is already some minor work in progress further west (separate from this project)
    https://www.wilco.org/Departments/Infrastructure/Projects/Precinct-4/Southeast-Loop

    This work is immediately west and mostly alongside the proposed site for the planned $17 billion Samsung semiconductor factory (which is on the south side of US 79). So I'm thinking this project may be contingent on Samsung selecting that site. I'm hoping it moves forward regardless of Samsung's decision.

    If Samsung does select the site, I'm thinking the section of the Southeast Loop connecting to SH 130 will need to be built as soon as possible to provide access to the facility.

    I live 2 minutes from the intersection of 130 and the future SE loop. Work has already startedÖROW has been cleared in the neighborhood it will pass by and looks like utility relocation work is being done now.
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    thisdj78

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    Re: Williamson County (Northern Austin Suburbs) 2035 Transportation Plan/Map
    « Reply #14 on: January 17, 2022, 03:33:40 PM »

    The Kenney Fort south Extension to 45 Toll started a few weeks ago. They have been working on clearing trees so far. When I get a chance Iíll take some photos:

    https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/transportprojects/kenney-fort-boulevard-segments-2-3/
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    thisdj78

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    Hereís images of the Kenney Fort Extension work at Gattis School
    rd. First pic is facing south towards 45Toll, second pic facing north:


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    thisdj78

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    Land clearing for the SouthEast Loop in Hutto and the Kenney Fort extension in Round Rock are showing on Google Maps now:

    https://goo.gl/maps/BJcroctqNPwaQJp8A


    https://goo.gl/maps/VZJwct1PtQJNusaFA
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