New road project aims to keep up with city growth

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

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kvue.com

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 7:37 AM

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Round Rock leaders say they need all the roads they can get to keep up with the growing city. They got one this week with a new 6 lane stretch. And that's just the beginning.

Kenney Fort Boulevard offers a mile and a half of road, providing east side residents with a quick commute across town.

"I've already seen lots of people riding bikes and jogging," said Bret Ostendorf, who lives nearby with his family.

Ostendorf says before they would fight traffic just to visit friends in town.

"Right now to go to any neighbors or friends that we have, just on the other side of Round Rock, we have to go around A. W. Grimes or Red Bud," he explained.

"If you live in the Forest Creek area and you want to get to 79, typically you're doing a back door loop around," said Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder.

But the city's plan extends much farther than Kenney Fort Boulevard. Ultimately the road will travel to the SH-45 toll road.

"Because of the amount of growth we're seeing, traffic congestion continues to be a problem and we're trying to stay out in front of it as best we can," said Mayor Alan McGraw.

In fact the project has been in the works since 1999.

"One of our challenges is always trying to deal with a city that's already grown up and the congestion issues we have," Hudder said.

The population in Round Rock currently sits around 100,000, but the city expects that number to surpass 150,000 by 2030. Over the next 50 years, they anticipate the population will reach 300,000 people.

"I have been here a long time. I can remember driving from Taylor to Round Rock without a traffic signal, on a 2 lane road," said Williamson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Morrison.

As Round Rock transitions from suburb to mid-size city,  they hope the road will spur even more development on the open land near Kenney Fort, meaning more business and jobs.

"The city growth is just amazing," Ostendorf added.

For Ostendorf the changes offer more than just convenience but also quality of life.

 

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