LE­AN­DER

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Cedar Park-Le­an­der States­man

CR 179 wi­den­ing to start in Jan­uary

By Rachel Rice LE­AN­DER — A con­tract to widen County Road 179 from 20 to 45 feet and add a turn lane and bike lanes has been ap­proved by the Le­an­der City Coun­cil, and City En­gi­neer Wayne Watts said he ex­pects con­struc­tion to be­gin in Jan­uary and con­tinue for nine months.

City Man­ager Kent Ca­gle said the city staff wanted the road to be striped with a cen­ter turn lane and bike lanes rather than as a four-lane road.

“Our cur­rent think­ing is, with the level of traf­fic and the num­ber of turns, you’ve got peo­ple mak­ing left turns into Stiles, and it’s bet­ter if the turn is pro­tected,” Ca­gle said.

In ad­di­tion to wi­den­ing the road, the city plans to add street­lights along the road and a traf­fic light at its in­ter­sec­tion with Ron­ald Rea­gan Boule­vard. A side­walk will be added to the south side of the road, and a bridge is to be built across Brushy Creek.

“This will be an ac­tual bridge across Brushy Creek,” Watts said. “Some cul­verts there are sub­ject to over­top­ping and flood­ing and such. This will be a real-deal bridge and will re­place ex­ist­ing cul­verts not ad­e­quate to carry stormwa­ter.”

The City Coun­cil awarded the project to Chasco Con­struc­tors Ltd., which bid $3.89 mil­lion. In­clud­ing main­te­nance and ma­te­ri­als, the project will cost a to­tal of $4.28 mil­lion.

The city has made an agree­ment with Wil­liamson County and the Le­an­der school district to pay for the needed road im­prove­ments.

The county has agreed to pay a fixed amount of $1.5 mil­lion, and the re­main­der will be split be­tween the city and the school district. The city ex­pects to pay about $1.8 mil­lion, with the district pick­ing up the re­main­ing $1 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to city doc­u­ments.

Watts said the road ex­pan­sion was nec­es­sary be­cause of the newly opened Florence Stiles Mid­dle School and an­tic­i­pated growth.

“The school there acts as a mag­net to res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment and con­se­quen­tial com­mer­cial devel­op­ment on the cor­ners,” Watts said.

De­vel­op­ers Ge­han Homes and Mer­itage Homes have started mak­ing plans for sin­gle-fam­ily res­i­dences to be con­structed along the county road, said devel­op­ment ser­vices di­rec­tor Jim Bech­tol.

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