A bond election to improve Flint Rock Road is coming before Lakeway voters.
Lakeway City Council on Aug. 20 unanimously approved a Nov. 6 bond election that, if passed, would authorize the city to issue up to $4.3 million in bonds to improve Flint Rock Road. Travis County voters last year approved a $4.13 million bond referendum to improve its part of the road.
Travis County and the City of Lakeway are working together on the Flint Rock Road project because the road alternates between county-owned and City of Lakeway–owned land.
"It's badly needed," Councilwoman Dee Ann Burns-Farrell said of the road improvements. "We can't put it off, so it must be done. We've just got to get the word out to the people of Lakeway as to how serious this is."
The plan for Flint Rock Road is to add left-turn lanes at major intersections, add shoulders, flatten hills and straighten curves. The plan would also widen a portion of Flint Rock Road to four lanes.
At the Aug. 20 council meeting, multiple residents who drive Flint Rock Road daily said the road is dangerous and needs the improvements.
Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said in April that residents who live along Flint Rock Road complained to the city for years that the road was not safe. The residents said that Flint Rock Road is narrow and twisting, and there are no shoulders, he said.
In addition to safety concerns, city and county officials have said the road is becoming more heavily used with the opening of the Lakeway Regional Medical Center, and that future developments will increase the road usage as well.
LRMC and its surrounding campus, which could take up to 10 years to be fully built-out, could bring in more than 9,000 cars per day, according to a 2008 traffic study report.
Waiting on Lakeway
Travis County Engineer Steve Manilla said in April that the county is waiting for the Lakeway bond election before moving forward on any Flint Rock Road improvements.
“Once we know they have their money pretty much secured, then we can start the process of getting it designed and ultimately built,” he said.
Mayor Dave DeOme said the Travis County bond money that was passed for Flint Rock Road would likely be spent somewhere else if Lakeway voters did not approve the bond in November.
"If the citizens voted this down in November, those monies would go to another project in Travis County, and the citizens of Lakeway would still have to pay the taxes for that bond, no matter what that project was," he said. "We are already going to pay for this, and I would sure like it to be for the project here in Lakeway."
While the city cannot use any city resources to support an initiative, council members talked about the need to be proactive in getting residents to support the initiative.
Several council members said they were concerned about the possible ambivalence some Lakeway residents who do not drive on Flint Rock Road would have about the initiative.
"I think we need to make an active effort to make sure the pros and cons are presented to the public," Councilman Alan Tye said.