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Travis County commissioners approve Steiner Ranch evacuation route 'B'

Prior to their decision, county commissioners had multiple community forum.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court decided to move forward with route "B" as an evacuation route for Steiner Ranch.

As of right now, the community essentially has one way in and one way out, which made for a big backup when there was a wildfire in 2011.

"It's very frustrating and disappointing," said Jeff Witte, who lives off Montview Drive.

Witte and his neighbor, Jackie Rieck, are worried.

"We bought into this neighborhood for a reason," Rieck said. "It's a gem of a neighborhood secluded out here."

Approved evacuation route "B" will create a road just a few hundred feet from their homes.

"We want to keep the gem of our neighborhood the way that it is," Rieck said. 

"I think anyone who went through the fire knows the importance of this route," said Hector Nieto, spokesperson for the Travis County Commissioners Court.

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The commissioners were originally looking at two possible routes, "F" and "B." The difference between the two was that "F" would have been a permanent public road, and "B" will be gated off and only opened during emergencies.

"We all know these temporary roads eventually become public," Rieck said. "We will have problems with crime, as well as the safety of our children when they ride bikes."

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Route "B" will cost about $950,000.

"These funds are ready to go and would get started immediately," Nieto said.

The completion date of the project will be mid to late 2021.

Although Witte knows an evacuation route is necessary, he doesn't think this is the right decision.

"Put the breaks on where we're at," he exclaimed. "We need to not only come up with a solution but a right solution."


Fire officials: 2011 Steiner Ranch fire was accidental

Steiner Ranch community looks back one year after devastating wildfire

Steiner Ranch a year after the fire

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