Flint Rock Road Update – Important Items Included
August 26, 2016
Project Impacts: The Flint Rock Road improvement project has experienced several adverse impacts:
1. Rain delays – the project has lost 26 workdays thus far to rainfall & muddy conditions
2. Unexpected ground water released from the newly excavated terrain. This is clearly visible when driving along the construction zone where water can been observed running out of rock walls recently cut. This item when combined with the first item has made for unprecedented difficult construction conditions.
3. Utility relocation issues - Time-Warner Cable at Pawnee Pass and WCID #17 force main lines that are located within the construction area at the two small creeks near Tonkawa Trail East.
4. Design complications related to the ground water
Schedule Implications: Given all of the above, the contract completion date and the date the road will be open for use has been impacted by an estimated 30-45 workdays. That could be further impacted by continued wet weather. We are expecting substantial completion of the roadway in the late January/ February 2017 timeframe. To complete all work, the contractor work may extend to the end of April of 2017.
Total Cost Projection: As to the projected cost, the funding approved jointly by Lakeway and Travis County was $9.2 million. The Lakeway share of this cost was $4.2 million. Due to the previously cited factors, the project has eaten into the contingency financial reserves in a material way. Lakeway has realized a greater percent of those cost impacts based on the exact location of the problems being within the Lakeway jurisdiction. There has been no change in the projected total cost of the project at this time, and it will be closely monitored.
The project needs sunshine and good weather to get back on track. We are reaching a point where there should be fewer surprises & things become more predictable. The next two months will be key in that regard.
May 19 & 20 Road Closure: On May 19, the Flint Rock Road construction area sustained a intense rainfall during a two-hour period. Given the saturated conditions due to the generally wet conditions Hurst Creek became a raging torrent and topped the old roadway section at the creek. The original roadway had only a single 24-inch culvert to move water under the road which is substantially below current criteria. While such flooding has happened on previous occasions, during construction the old road base had to be cut to make room for the new larger culverts. This exposed the base under the old road to erosion in spite of steps to guard against this. As a matter of safety the road was closed on the morning of May 19. To address the erosion and continuing risk of more flooding it was decided to remove the old 24-inch culvert, repair the old and temporary road base on the south side of the street and to install to 36-inch culverts as a temporary measure. This increased the flow capacity under this section of the road by 450 percent. The road closure resulted in disruption to area residents as there are no public roads which serve as a convenient alternative. The construction firm did the work on a high priority basis and was able to reopen the road by 7:15 p.m. May 20. The new roadway design has five box culverts 8’ x7’ to accommodate a 50 year rain event plus the elevation of the road itself will be several feet higher than the old road when completed.
Flint Rock Road Photo Update
Jan. 8, 2016
This photo was taken from near the barricades at the intersection of Medical Parkway and new Flint Rock Road facing west.
Flint Rock Road Construction News
Nov. 6, 2015
Construction activity on the new Flint Rock Road has started in earnest.
One of the early phases of work is to address the section of the new road that arcs across the hillside between the old Flint Rock Road and the barricades near the hospital. This is because it is both the most complex segment of the project and it can proceed with the least disruption to the public.
The work near the intersection of the Wild Cherry and the new Flint Rock Road is one which we need to get working on. To do that, we will need to close Wild Cherry to install large retaining walls and to install large culverts in the creek bed under the new roadway. While that work is occurring, we will reroute traffic on Wild Cherry traffic to go across the hillside on temporary lanes which will bypass that area.
Brush and tree clearing is progressing from east to west along the Flint Rock Road right of way. This will address the remainder of the clearing which we had to started earlier this year to avoid disturbing the potential nesting habitat of the yellow cheeked warbler!
The contractor has also placed tree protection fencing around trees which are flagged for preservation. Once this is done, they will begin with the construction of a temporary travel lane so we can begin the process of realigning and upgrading the existing travel lanes, one at a time.
Also some have enquired as to the size of the clearing on the hillside near the hospital between the old Flint Rock Road and the dip and Wild Cherry Drive. The actual right of way for the new road is within the two 2-foot high silt fences you see to prevent soil erosion.
The larger area uphill from the erosion fences, installed approximately midway up the hillside, is a temporary construction yard that the contractor negotiated with the owner of the property. This area will be used during the construction for equipment and materials for the construction project. At the end of the project it will be re-vegetated and watered until the grasses are re-established.
This will be a long journey and we are just at the start.
Flint Rock Road Project Manager – City of Lakeway
Construction is scheduled to begin next week on the Flint Rock Road Improvement Project to widen lanes and shoulders on the curvy, hilly, heavily traveled thoroughfare.
Work will begin with the erection of signage and erosion protection as well as brush clearing, and the construction of temporary travel lanes for traffic control.
“The work on Flint Rock Road will greatly improve safety, but we ask residents to be patient throughout the construction process,” Schwendinger said. “We are aware the project will generate a significant amount of noise, dust and even some traffic delays, but we have stressed to the contractor the importance of minimizing those effects on the public.”
The city and county are encouraging drivers to slow down and drive safely through the construction zones. New construction zone restrictions will be posted. “Drivers should keep an eye out for workmen and heightened police enforcement on Flint Rock Road,” Schwendinger said.
The sharp edges of Flint Rock Road will be smoothed as construction on road improvements is set to begin by the end of this year.
Travis County opened construction bids in late July for the section of Flint Rock Road from Serene Hills Drive to near RM 620 and Lakeway Regional Medical Center.
The roadway upgrade project is a joint project between the City of Lakeway and Travis County to improve the general safety, dampen dips and curves while widening the travel lanes and adding paved shoulders to the heavily traveled road.
“We are pleased that improvements are imminent on Flint Rock Road,” Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said. “Drivers can look forward to a thoroughfare that is better able to handle the increasing traffic counts in the western half of our city.”
Contract administration will be handled by Travis County, which must have the apparent low bidder approved by Commissioner’s Court and then issue the contract followed by a notice to proceed.
It is expected that the construction phase will start in late September and run approximately 15 months concluding the end of 2016, which matches the original project timeline, project manager Jim Schwendinger said.
“"Our intent is to keep the road open in both directions during construction, but drivers should anticipate intermittent lane closures and delays,” Jones cautioned.
Total funding for the project was originally estimated to be $9.2 million when approved by voters in 2012 of which 53 percent is to be Travis County’s share and 47 percent is the City of Lakeway’s portion.
The Flint Rock Road project has resolved its issues with the utilities and right of way matters and is moving forward on its timeline.
The project is a joint City of Lakeway and Travis County project to improve the 2.2 miles of road between RM 620 and Serene Hills Drive. The road will have several safety issues addressed consisting of 1-foot wider lanes, 4-foot paved shoulders, changes in the turns and grades to improve safety and sightlines.
Near the Lakeway Regional Medical Center, the right of way will shift south crossing the hillside and Wild Cherry and align up with the section of Flint Rock Road that was installed when the hospital opened. This will permit the abandonment of the road with the severe dip near Flintrock Trace.
Total funding for the project is $9.2 million coming from a 2011 county bond issue and a 2012 City of Lakeway bond issue.
Although the lineal feet of road are split 66 percent and 33 percent between the county and the city, Travis County is committed to 53 percent of costs and Lakeway is responsible for 47 percent because of specific complexity within the city’s sections.
It has been some time since we posted our last update on the progress of Flint Rock Road. This period has been packed with many important design steps to conclude the overall design of the roadway design. Some of the key milestones are:
It has been a few weeks since the last update regarding the Flint Rock Road project, so as follows is a short update:
Flint Rock Road Update - 90% design milestone reached!
July 3, 2014