Decision Points

September 2011 - Posts

City to implement $58 million, 5-year traffic improvement program

Beginning in September 2011, the City of Round Rock is implementing a $58 million, 5-year plan to address the community’s most pressing transportation needs. The program will be primarily funded through the existing half-cent Type B sales tax revenue for economic development.

Transportation staff identified key problem areas, and presented a series of solutions to the Round Rock City Council at its August planning retreat. The City Council, after providing guidance on timing and priorities, signed off on the program. The 5-year program is flexible, and new projects will be added to it as work is completed and funds allow. It will be updated annually.

The highest-priority problem areas identified are below. Links take you to projects designed to address the problem:

  1. IH 35 corridor deficiencies, most notably on-ramp and off-ramp locations
  2. North-south connections west of IH 35. There are no significant crossings of Brushy Creek between Chisholm Trail and Parmer Lane.
  3. Intersection/corridor efficiency, in particular traffic signal timing and lack of dedicated right turn lanes.
  4. East-west routes west of IH 35, especially where there are at-grade railroad crossings.
  5. Rehabilitation of major arterial roads. Many of our existing arterial roads need significant maintenance or reconstruction to improve safety, traffic flow and economic vitality.

While all of these problem areas are within the City’s jurisdiction to address, we will need to partner with the Texas Department of Transportation on some of the proposed solutions. We anticipate that costs will be shared by other agencies on some projects.

Transportation staff analyzed and ranked problem areas and proposed solutions that are both technically sound and affordable, i.e., within the projected revenue stream of the half-cent Type B sales tax. Type B denotes the state law that stipulates the uses for this sales tax, which is for the promotion of economic development.

Round Rock voters in 1997 approved the half-cent sales tax and limited its use to major road and transportation projects, i.e., those that impacted economic development. Since that time, the City has leveraged the $115 million of Type B revenue into $376 million worth of projects by partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation, Williamson County and private developers.

The 5-year program does not include $30 million of ongoing Type B sales tax funded transportation projects, like a new north-south arterial east of IH 35 (Kenney Fort Boulevard) and the widening of Chisholm Trail Road north of FM 3406. Even with the new 5-year program and the existing projects, the City anticipates maintaining an $8-10 million fund balance for the Type B sales tax fund.

Your thoughts or questions about the program are welcome.

Posted: Sep 29 2011, 10:45 AM by Will Hampton | with 3 comment(s)
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