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Transportation Officials Working To Fix Round Rock Congestion
It’s one of the most congested roadways in Round Rock and now the Texas Department of Transportation is taking action. They’re planning to construct what is known as a “Diverging Diamond Interchange” at the University Boulevard overpass of I-35.
It’s near big stores like IKEA and leads drivers to the Round Rock Premium Outlets. Doris DeVeau drives through the area frequently and says, "It is busy, I had to sit through two lights off of I-35 onto University."
Officials with TxDOT and the City of Round Rock only expect it to get worse, which is why they’re supporting the construction of the DDI. They say it will allow traffic to flow onto and off of University Boulevard more efficiently and at a higher volume. Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder says it’s not only the best option it’s the least expensive. “The only other option is to blow up that overpass and start over, that’s a 30 or 40 million dollar project, and we don’t have the funds for that,” he says.
Officials estimate a 70 to 80 percent improvement in traffic flow. Hudder says, “(it functions well) Where you have congested roadways that have a lot of heavy left turn traffic.” That fits the area perfectly since left turn traffic is a major source of congestion in the area.
The project could cost almost $4 million. Hudder says, “It’s primarily a restriping program, there’s very little actual construction that will need to take place so it’s primarily restriping the road and moving the traffic to a different location.”
Construction on the project is could begin in early 2014. There is expected to be a meeting so the public can learn more about the project and give their input. A date for that meeting has not been set yet.
By Lydia Pantazes