1431 widening project to continue into 2019


Traffic tie-ups on East Whitestone Boulevard will continue through early spring of 2019 as road widening is expected to continue for several more months.

According to Diann Hodges, TxDOT spokesperson for the Austin District, the $12.8 million project to widen the road between Market Street and Cottonwood Creek Trail should be substantially completed by March of next year. 

As a part of Cedar Park's overall transportation improvement project list, the widening of FM 1431 — known as East Whitestone Boulevard through the section under construction — from four lanes to six is a key project to improve mobility throughout the area, according to the City of Cedar Park's Jenny Huerta. 

In the meantime, commuters have been dealing with additional delays caused by the construction.

"The traffic affected some of our students early on," said Paul Johnson, principal of Vista Ridge High School, "but our students know when they have to be here and have adjusted their schedules as a result."

Greg Scott, operations manager for BMC Millwork said his concern is that "they've taken away the left turn lane forcing us to go up to the light with our trucks and circle around the building. Access to our business is more limited and I worry that now, people aren't aware that they shouldn't turn over a double yellow line when making the turn and it could cause an accident." Kim Smith, who works at BMC Millwork next to the construction said, "The only thing is that it keeps getting our cars really dirty!"

Weather has already delayed the project by several weeks, and Hodges said that's a key reason there's no set date for completion of the construction.

"We never give an exact completion date for a project because so much depends upon  factors like weather," said Hodges. "This has been a particularly rough year for bad weather. We've had some ice storms in addition to the cold. We can't do overlays until it's warm because we lay the pavement at night and it has to get to a certain temperature in order to set." 

Although the project has been slowed by weather, Hodges confirmed that the project is still on budget.