RM 1431 Pass-Through Project Officially Unveiled
Travel times vastly improved in most significant transportation project in Cedar Park history
The City of Cedar Park, Williamson County and the Texas Department of Transportation officially “cut the ribbon” on the 1431 Pass Through Project on Wednesday, November 16. This transportation project, which is a partnership among the City, the County and TxDOT, is the most significant in Cedar Park history. TxDOT is already reporting significant improvements in travel times as a result of the project.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Matt Powell remembered, “When we held the groundbreaking ceremony a couple of years ago traffic was stacked up behind us. People were waving because they were stopped at the intersection and it’s significant to see how much this project has changed that over the past two years.”
Cedar Park has twice been named the Fourth Fastest-Growing City in the Country in recent years, with a population that has grown more than 1,000 percent since 1980 and more than doubled in the last decade. This rapid growth had resulted in decreased mobility and safety along this primary east-west corridor.
Commissioner Cynthia Long said, “It was invaluable for us as we move forward to stay ahead of congestion instead of getting stuck in it.”
The goal of the 1431 Pass Through Project was to vastly improve safety and mobility along RM 1431 by widening the once-rural highway to a six-lane divided urban section from just west of Parmer Lane/Ronald Reagan Boulevard to Sam Bass Road. It now features a Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) at Parmer/Ronald Reagan and 1431, along with raised medians, curb and gutter, lighting, turn lanes and drainage improvements. The CFI is one of only 20 such intersections in the country. To see the City’s video that shows how to navigate the CFI click here.
Mayor Powell said, “Part of my pride in standing here today is that this was an amazingly complex project with a lot of moving parts. It took boldness from the City Council with a little bit of a sell. It was not just widening a road. We had to tell people, this is going to be a hassle for some time but it’s going to be great when it’s done.”
TxDOT already reports significant improvements in travel time along RM 1431 since the CFI opened in August. Travel times along RM 1431 between Market Street and Toro Grande Drive decrease during peak travel time in the morning by 61 percent for eastbound travelers and 46 percent for drivers going westbound. In the evening, travel time is decreased during peak travel times by 53 percent for eastbound travelers and 33 percent for drivers going westbound.
TxDOT Area Engineer Bobby Ramthun said, “Study results show this newly constructed continuous flow intersection is performing very well and has succeeded in accommodating higher traffic volumes while also reducing congestion and travel times in the area. While traffic volume at this intersection has increased by about 29 percent travel time along RM 1431 has significantly decreased in both the morning and afternoon peak hours.”
The $17.3 million project was completed through a Pass Through financing agreement with TxDOT, in which the City was responsible for funding the up-front design and construction costs of approximately $22 million. Under the agreement TxDOT will reimburse the City for 80 percent of the construction costs in the form of annual reimbursements beginning next year. Williamson County contributed $1.15 million towards the increased costs related to the construction of the CFI, and TxDOT paid for the construction administrative costs of about $1.7 million and contributed about $100,000 for sidewalks.
The design engineer was Klotz Associates and the Contractor was Hunter Industries.