Courtesy City of Cedar Park
Cedar Park City Council agreed Oct. 25 to pursue funding for a new pedestrian bridge and sidewalk along FM 1431.
The proposed walkway would run from Discovery Boulevard to Toll 183A and cost approximately $378,000 to design and build, Transportation Planner Tom Gdala told the council. The project hinges on inclusion into the state's Transportation Enhancement Program, which, pending approval, would reimburse the city up to 80 percent of the $274,000 in construction costs—resulting in a $159,000 bill for the city. That total includes about $55,000 toward construction and $104,000 in design costs.
The project will go before the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's Transportation Policy Board in spring 2013, Gdala said. It will be among several projects vying for $3 million in TEP money available to CAMPO from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The program places a particular emphasis on nontraditional transportation enhancement projects, he said, particularly pedestrian and bicycle enhancement projects. Upon request from the city, CAMPO staff submitted a letter of support for the project, stating it is consistent with the group's long-term regional transportation plan and fills a gap in a high-priority pedestrian district. Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long and Cedar Park Police Chief Henry Fluck have also submitted letters of support.
The proposed 6-foot-wide red sidewalk will include a bridge crossing over Spanish Oak Creek to connect Town Center pedestrians to 1890 Ranch, Gdala said.
Cedar Park's 4B board agreed Oct. 9 to cover the project's funding request, the first step to potentially using 4B money to pay for the remaining $159,000 needed to cover the city's portion of project costs. That is significantly cheaper, Gdala said, than the $325,000 it would cost to build the pedestrian bridge without Texas Department of Transportation support.
The council unanimously voted to allow city staff to pursue state funding, but not without some reluctance from Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell.
“I think the program would be more in the interest of Cedar Park residents to build roads,” he said. “We have dozens of roads and intersection projects [being planned].”
Nonetheless, Powell said he will support the project at a future CAMPO meeting as a member of the Transportation Policy Board.