I-35 north­bound frontage road project to start in Jan­uary

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Ben­jamin Wermund bw­er­mund@states­man.com Con­tact Ben­jamin Wermund at 246-1150. Twit­ter: @Ben­jam­inEW

GE­ORGE­TOWN — Work that will add a north­bound frontage road to In­ter­state 35 be­tween West­ing­house Road and Texas 29 will be­gin in Jan­uary af­ter Wil­liamson County Com­mis­sion­ers voted to award an $18.7 mil­lion con­tract for the project.

Brief ap­plause and a shout of “Yay!” pre­ceded Tues­day’s vote to ap­prove the con­tract with Hunter In­dus­tries.

“This is a much over­due project,” said Com­mis­sioner Va­lerie Covey, whose Ge­orge­town precinct in­cludes the stretch of high­way.

Com­mis­sioner Lisa Birk­man, who rep­re­sents a Round Rock precinct that once in­cluded the stretch, said the project was the first thing she worked on her first day in of­fice in 2004. “I think this will be great for the whole re­gion … be­cause it’s I-35,” she said.

The Texas De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion will fund 63.5 per­cent of the project as part of an agree­ment signed in 2011. County funds for the project come from voter­ap­proved road bonds.

It will in­clude adding a north­bound frontage road be­tween Texas 29 and South­east In­ner Loop Drive, with bridges at the South Fork of the San Gabriel River and West Fork of Smith Branch, county doc­u­ments show.

The project will also add lanes to the ex­ist­ing north­bound frontage road and the high­way to ease en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing the high­way, and con­struct an el­e­vated turn-around bridge north of RM 2243, ac­cord­ing to county doc­u­ments. North­bound ramps will be re­lo­cated and side­walks also will be added along the stretch, doc­u­ments said.

Com­mis­sion­ers said the project will im­prove mo­bil­ity and safety, es­pe­cially by adding ad­di­tional ac­cess to St. David’s Ge­orge­town Hospi­tal.

The $18.7 mil­lion con­tract came in more than $900,000 be­low the es­ti­mated cost of con­struc­tion, county doc­u­ments say. Hunter In­dus­tries worked on Texas 79 and has “es­tab­lished fa­vor­able work­ing re­la­tion­ships with the county and its rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” the doc­u­ments say.

The project is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the fall of 2014.

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