The City of Cedar Park will install a new traffic light near Running Brushy Middle School in time for school to start in August.
Senior Traffic Engineer Stephen Hanuscin said the city received several requests from citizens requesting a traffic light be installed on the corner of Lakeline Boulevard and Cougar Country Drive. The intersection serves two public schools — Running Brushy Middle and Knowles Elementary — and while crossing guards are stationed at the intersection at the beginning and end of school, there’s no way to safely cross the street at other times.
“Students who attend football practice or band practice, or individuals out for an evening walk don’t have the benefit of those crossing guards,” Hanuscin explained.
Hanuscin said the city did a traffic signal warrant study, which evaluated the area against Federal Highway Administration criteria to determine if a signal was needed.
“Not just one but three of the nine criteria were met, primarily related to traffic volume, pedestrian volume and particular because it’s near a school, peak hour volume as both schools generate an unusually large amount of traffic over a short time period,” he said.
The signal location was approved in December 2017 and the city began working on the design in-house.
Hanuscin said the $101,000 construction cost was ‘unusually low’ because the city not only designed the signal in-house but it also purchased in advance equipment and supplies that normally require a long lead time. The city also began getting the underground infrastructure set up in advance Pedernales Electric Co-op also began working to get electricity to the intersection.
”All of that saved us in construction time about four months so we can meet our Aug. 6 deadline,” he said.
The total project cost is approximately $287,000 - $185,000 in upfront costs and the $101,000 construction cost, saving the city $25,000 by doing the design in-house. Typical traffic signals cost between $250,000-$350,000 and take about six months to implement. G. Carter Construction won the bid to complete the new traffic signal. The project will be paid for with funds in the current city budget for non-site specific traffic signal construction.
The city plans to have the new traffic signal operational by Aug. 6 so drivers have nine days to adjust to the new light prior to Leander ISD’s Aug. 15 start date for the new school year.
Lakeline Boulevard near Cougar Country Drive is a 45 mph road and has more than 20,000 vehicles on it per day. Once constructed, the new traffic signal will be the northernmost one on Lakeline within the Cedar Park city limits.