Round Rock Aims to Move Road
By Janet Jacobs
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
ROUND ROCK -- Time has changed Round Rock, and now the city wants the state to accept that fact.
The city, in a continuing fight with the state over the location of the proposed Texas 130, is hoping its recently completed comprehensive road plan will convince the state of the need to choose the eastern route for the highway, a bypass of Interstate 35. Round Rock prefers the eastern option, while the state wants the western route, which passes through the edge of Round Rock.
In case the master road plan doesn't change the state's opinion, city officials have authorized $30,000 for a Virginia company to compile new arguments, including new toll revenue studies.
The bypass would run from Georgetown to south of San Antonio to relieve truck and commuter traffic on I-35.
Round Rock hopes its plans for new roads will alleviate the need for Texas 130 to run through the city. Officials said the city has committed to building a series of north-south arterials that will carry the same number of local cars as a major toll road.
City Engineer Tom Word said, "These arterials are much more compatible with our neighborhoods and could move as many cars as having a freeway."
Of the state's preferred route, Mayor Robert Stluka said, "Where it has the most impact within Round Rock is it runs directly between the residential neighborhoods of Rolling Ridge and Round Rock Ranch."
The eastern alternative passes between Round Rock and Hutto.
The state opposes that option because it already owns much of the right of way on the western route. Also, said Mark Cross, spokesman for the Texas Turnpike Authority, "If we go east, we may take out more homes than if we go west."
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