The Cedar Park City Council authorized the next step toward designing the planned expansion for New Hope Drive to reach Sam Bass Road, at their Sept. 28 meeting.
The plan is for New Hope Drive to become a four lane arterial roadway with a raised median, shared use path and street lights and bike lanes, said Alan Green, senior engineering associate for the city.
After reviewing several applications for overseeing the design for the expansion, Green recommended to the council to go with LJA Inc., an engineering firm in Cedar Park. The City Council approved a resolution for employing their engineering services not to exceed $2 million.
“LJA provided a detailed project approach, with a summary of potential design challenges and unique solutions to these challenges,” Green said. “The project manager has successfully completed large arterial roadway projects similar to the New Hope Drive project.”
The designs are planned to be completed in November. The project is estimated to cost $17.8 million in total, but only $5 million has been funded, Green said.
“This project will be delivered at the shovel-ready status in anticipation of applying for federal funds of the construction of the project,” he said. No timeline has been set for construction.
The city has also been working to expand Cotton Creek trail north to Ronald Reagan Blvd. since June.
Sam Roberts, Cedar Park assistant city manager, said the planned expansion was one of the higher ranked projects by the 2015 bond task force from the bond election, and will be able to help divert traffic once completed.
“It’s an east-west reliever for 1431,” Roberts said. “It’s a very busy road, and the idea is once it connects from Sam Bass to the tollway, that it will be a good relief for 1431.”
Scott Smith, a resident of the Ranch at Brushy Creek, said he was in opposition of the project. He said he believed the city should prioritize expanding the in-town roads for relief.
“I feel like Cedar Park is becoming, instead of the movie ‘Fields of Dreams’, roads of dreams,” Smith said. “We’re going to spend $2 million for designing a road that’s going where? I think we need to serve the residents where houses are being built right now than where we are in the future, and we don’t even have the money to build the road.”
Roberts said there aren’t many roads in Cedar Park that are eligible for Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) funding.
“That project was one of the higher ranked projects by the 2015 bond task force for the bond election," Roberts said. “It is a good candidate for CAMPO funding because it is classified as a regional project. If we can get it shovel ready, we think it’s a good candidate for that.”