The City of Liberty Hill has identified four road improvement projects that will begin in 2023 with the hopes of relieving and streamlining traffic around the community.
City Administrator Paul Brandenburg said that in the past, the City has relied heavily on state and county assistance when it comes to road projects, but that’s not going to be the case anymore.
“I’m not going to use the term that they’ve been failing us, but they have not delivered what they’ve told us they’re going to deliver,” Brandenburg said. “The City Council decided to take responsibility and get these projects done. We have the funds available, and the council has approved these projects, so now we begin the work.”
Brandenburg added that it’s unfortunate that the City has to foot the bill, especially when there had been verbal agreements in the past with Williamson County and TXDOT for some of the project costs to be shared, but that continuing to wait isn’t an option anymore.
“Traffic isn’t going to get better, and just sitting back and complaining isn’t going to make it better,” he said. “We are having to be reactive now, unfortunately, instead of proactive, but we can’t keep waiting.”
Running parallel to these identified projects, Brandenburg said starting in early 2023, funds from the City’s street maintenance tax will start being used to fill and seal cracks and potholes within city limits.
“Right now, we’re in the process of identifying roads within the City that need to be done, in the downtown area especially,” he added. “We will be putting together a plan by next spring to do those improvements on the roads.”
Stonewall Parkway/State Highway 29/Liberty Parke Intersection
The top priority project is creating a four-way lighted intersection on State Highway 29 at Stonewall Parkway with an entrance into the Liberty Parke subdivision.
Brandenburg said the project is 99 percent designed and engineered, and the City is working with Classic Bank to get the proper right of way acquisitions and easements for the construction. TxDOT is requiring the bank to eliminate their current driveway on Highway 29 and gain access off Stonewall Parkway.
TxDOT is also requiring pedestrian access across Highway 29, which includes pedestrian ramps and an accessible sidewalk on the north side of the highway.
“We are also working with TxDOT to get the traffic signals ahead of time, before we need them, so that we don’t have to wait on those,” Brandenburg said. “We expect to go out for bid in spring 2023, begin construction in summer 2023, and have the intersection completed by end of 2024. We estimate it’ll take about 18 months to get it done.”
Estimated Cost: $1.5 million
Bailey Lane Intersection
Bailey Lane, which is across State Highway 29 north of Noble Elementary School, is the second most important project for the City, Brandenburg said. The plan is to create a four-way lighted intersection to help relieve school-related traffic during peak times.
Right now the City is working with the Liberty Hill Independent School District to determine what type of right of way will be needed for the project, he said.
“We are still determining how much property we will need for that intersection,” Brandenburg said. “We also know there will be a very delicate traffic situation with all the buses and drivers dropping off and picking up their students, so we are working with [the school district] to make sure we don’t mess those things up.”
Design and right-of-way for the project is estimated to be completed by March 2023, with bidding and construction starting shortly afterward.
Estimated Cost: $1.8 million
Loop 332/County Road 279 Roundabout
The third project the City has determined is necessary is the construction of a roundabout on Loop 332 and County Road 279, right next to Wetzel Park. Brandenburg said the only hesitation with the project is concerns over whether or not those roads will be more heavily used once construction begins on the 183A Toll Road underneath State Highway 29.
“We are trying to find out what the impact will be from the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority,” he said. “We aren’t sure if traffic will have to go down 279 and through downtown, and we don’t want to be doing construction on a roundabout if that’s going to happen. We would wait until the toll road is finished and traffic goes back to normal.”
If the project is able to move forward in spite of the toll road construction, the bid for the project will go out in early 2023, with construction beginning by May. Completion for the project is estimated to be March 2024.
Estimated Cost: $2.1 million
Loop 332/Ranch Road 1869 Turn Lanes
The final priority project for the City is adding turn lanes to the intersection at Loop 332 and Ranch Road 1869.
TxDOT was originally slated to install traffic signals at that intersection in 2022, but due to supply chain issues, the signals have yet to be installed. They are now slated to go vertical in spring 2023.
Brandenburg said the City plans on waiting until those traffic signals are installed before moving ahead with the turn lane project.
“We want to wait until the signals go up before we add turn lanes,” he added. “TxDOT recommended we observe the traffic once the signal is complete before we move forward to improve traffic flow.”
Estimated Cost: $750,000
Click here for the entire article.