What We Are Building

  • TxDOT is building an upgraded, state-of-the-art roadway consisting of 2-to-3 non-stop US 290 mainlanes for through traffic in each direction, as well as 2-to-3 frontage road lanes in each direction.
  • An overpass for the US 290 mainlanes over William Cannon Drive will be built, along with new flyovers between US 290 and SH 71. At this location, the US 290 mainlanes will be lowered under SH 71.
  • New intersections will be constructed along US 290 at Convict Hill Road, RM 1826, Scenic Brook Drive and Circle Drive (South View Road) where the highway will go below the existing ground level and the cross street will remain at ground level.
  • U-turns will be constructed at intersections along US 290 and SH 71 to allow vehicles traveling on frontage roads to access the opposite direction frontage road.
  • Along SH 71, the flyover ramps will extend past Scenic Brook Drive where the mainlanes will transition to a 5-lane (three lanes northbound, two lanes southbound) highway with U-turns for local access.
  • Significant bicycle and pedestrian accommodations will be built along the entire corridor, including 14 miles of shared-use path and 1 1/2 miles of sidewalks.
  • An offsite stormwater detention pond will be built upstream of Williamson Creek near Old Bee Caves Road and Sunset Ridge, and multiple water quality treatment ponds will be built within the corridor.
  • New landscaping, tree plantings and corridor aesthetics will be part of the construction plan.

US 290 and its intersection with SH 71 have long been identified as an area in need of mobility solutions. It is listed in the 100 Most Congested Roadways in Texas (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, 2020). In fact, improvements for this intersection have been included in regional transportation plans for over 30 years.

The “Y” in Oak Hill reached capacity in 1995 and the population kept expanding. As a result, congestion has gotten steadily worse. By 2040, traffic demand is expected to more than double at the US 290/SH 71 intersection. By increasing the capacity of the roadway system, TxDOT will accommodate the need for additional capacity today, while meeting the demands of tomorrow.  

The current roadway is an unreliable route for transit and emergency vehicles as well. Overall, the infrastructure is aging and in need of an upgrade. 

The Oak Hill Parkway project is the right-sized project to meet the local, regional and statewide need for safety and mobility on US 290 at SH 71. 

There is a possibility that TxDOT or CRC will suggest a change in the roadway design due to any number of factors including, but not limited to, minimizing utility conflicts and schematic refinements. Should this occur, we will engage and inform impacted property owners and stakeholders about those changes.

Yes. Over the decades of planning and through the most recent environmental study process, community input had a meaningful impact on project design. 

Key changes made to the design due to community input include:

  • Reducing the elevation of the US 290/SH 71 interchange
  • Reducing the project’s footprint where possible
  • Separating the through traffic from local traffic
  • Adding bicycle/pedestrian accommodations
  • Enhancing best practices for water quality and flooding concerns
  • Limiting impacts to trees and preserving several iconic oak trees

The design reflects both the safety and mobility needs as well as community values. Learn more by reviewing our history of public involvement here

No. Traffic demand on this corridor is just too high. US 290 and its intersection with SH 71 have long been identified as an area in need of mobility solutions. It is listed in the Top 100 Most Congested Roadways in Texas (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, 2020). In fact, improvements for this intersection have been included in regional transportation plans for more than 30 years.

TxDOT is tasked with providing a real transportation solution that provides meaningful traffic relief. The Oak Hill Parkway project meets the traffic demand along the corridor today and best manages the traffic projections of tomorrow. TxDOT will keep the footprint of the project as small as possible in order to responsibly meet the purpose and need of the project.

No. Oak Hill Parkway is fully funded as a non-tolled Texas Clear Lanes project. 

The environmental study for the project included an extensive review of projected traffic noise that would result from the added lanes and structures. The mainlanes, frontage roads, flyovers, entrance ramps, and exit ramps were taken into consideration along with other varying factors like elevation, traffic volumes, vehicle mix (e.g., cars, medium trucks, heavy trucks, and motorcycles), roadway slope (e.g., percent grade), stop and go intersections, etc. TxDOT prepared a traffic noise analysis which follows a federal process. The analysis also evaluated noise abatement measures, such as sound walls for the adjacent residents and businesses that might be impacted by traffic noise. 

In 2018, the analysis was completed using TxDOT’s 2011 Traffic Noise Policy, and in 2019, the analysis was revisited when TxDOT updated its Traffic Noise Policy. In 2021, TxDOT performed a traffic noise validation study to to ensure that previous modeling of the existing roadway was reasonable for the entire project. The results matched our previous conclusions.

As a result of the federal noise mitigation process, the three sound walls that will be built are: (1) near the Ridgeview neighborhood, (2) near the Bell Quarry Hill Apartments, and (3) near a mobile home park on the east side of the project. 

More information is linked here: 

TxDOT is monitoring safety and mobility conditions west of the Oak Hill Parkway project. There is a proposed project currently on hold that may address long-term safety and mobility concerns. It picks up where Oak Hill Parkway ends and extends into Dripping Springs. The webpage for that proposed project is here. Let us know if you’d like to be added to the project mailing list to receive updates when that project’s status changes by clicking here

What to Expect During Construction

The community should plan for construction impacts to last about five years.

Project timeline:

  • July 1, 2021: Groundbreaking ceremony
  • Late 2021
    • Begin major activity on US 290 beginning at the far west and far east segments of the project 
  • Early 2022
    • Begin major activity at the US 290/SH 71 “Y” interchange segment 
  • Mid-Late 2022
    • Begin major activity along SH 71 
  • 2026: Open to traffic

Activity will occur throughout the entire corridor simultaneously. The construction sequence that TxDOT will use for the Oak Hill Parkway project will be an “outside-in” approach. This prioritizes construction of the new frontage roads (on the outside) prior to the reconstruction of the mainlanes. 

Exact timing of traffic shifts and lane closures will be developed as the design of the project progresses. When information becomes available, TxDOT will distribute this information to businesses, residents and drivers through multiple communication channels (e.g., e-blasts, tweets, website updates and media alerts).

Construction schedules are fluid and intended to adapt to time, circumstances and weather delays. The goal of the construction plan will be to keep as many lanes open as possible while the project is being built.

Unfortunately, yes. Construction projects can be disruptive, and we will do our best to be a good neighbor.

Neighbors and businesses should expect: 

  • Travel delays
  • Lane shifts, closures and detours
  • Temporary cross street closures
  • An increase in noise, vibration, dust and lighting, especially during night work
  • An increase in traffic on the frontage roads and neighborhood streets
  • Adjustments to business access
  • Shifts in the schedule of activities
  • Minor changes to the project design 
  • Temporary water/power disruptions

TxDOT and CRC will make every effort to be good neighbors and keep you informed of disruptive work.

To finish the project on schedule, construction may occur during the day, at nights, on the weekends and on holidays. However, lane closures on US 290 and SH 71 will not generally take place during the day to minimize travel delays.

In general, we will build frontage roads first throughout the project corridor. Once frontage roads are completed, traffic will be shifted onto the new frontage roads, while construction crews build the mainlanes and cross-street bridges in the middle. In locations where there are no frontage roads being built (such as west of Circle Drive), traffic will be shifted from one side of the road to the other as crews work in the middle. Sign up for updates to make sure you are kept up to date on lane shifts.

Yes. First, the construction team will be building the new US 290 frontage roads. Once complete, we will move traffic onto the new frontage roads and begin bridge construction at the new overpass locations. Through traffic on US 290 will not be impeded during bridge construction. However, drivers that need to cross US 290 at those locations will be detoured to temporary turnarounds or the next available intersection while bridge construction takes place. We also want to note that the temporary cross street closures of roads in close proximity, such as RM 1826 and Convict Hill Road, will not be concurrent.

Environmental stewardship is important to TxDOT and CRC. Crews will preserve and protect many trees in the corridor including several iconic oak trees, and they will follow water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) during any work near Williamson Creek and along the project corridor. To prevent run-off from directly entering the Edwards Aquifer, crews will identify karst features and caves prior to construction and work to protect them during the project. In addition, multiple water quality treatment ponds have been incorporated into the design of the project.

TxDOT and CRC will be coordinating with appropriate wildlife agencies since there is potential for state and federal threatened and endangered species within or near the project area. Prior to construction, environmental teams will conduct biological surveys to detect any potential threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which will help project personnel minimize or avoid any impacts. Surveys will also be conducted for migratory birds, and crews will monitor the project area during nesting season.

Currently, there are limited routes for bicyclists and pedestrians in the corridor. The Oak Hill Parkway Project includes significant improvements to bicycle and pedestrian mobility, including construction of 14 miles of shared-use path, 1 1/2 miles of sidewalks, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act enhancements at cross streets along the corridor.

TxDOT and CRC will be incorporating aesthetic design features into roadway bridges, walls and overhead sign structures throughout the corridor. New landscaping and tree plantings will also be part of the final design.

An offsite stormwater detention pond will be built upstream of Williamson Creek near Old Bee Caves Road and Sunset Ridge. The team will build a dam across a natural creek valley to capture flood waters during intense rain events. This will allow water to slowly recede in the hours/days after rainfall. 

Additional drainage ponds will also be built along the project corridor to help control potential flooding during construction.

Work zone safety is a priority. TxDOT and CRC will commit to best safety practices with regard to the traveling public, bicyclists and pedestrians, and our crews. We also monitor public health guidelines regarding COVID-19. 

TxDOT and CRC encourage drivers to follow these safety tips while traveling through work zones: 

  • Pay Attention: You should always keep your eyes on the road, but this is especially important in work zones. Be aware of all signage throughout work zones that can indicate reduced speeds, lane changes and other important information. 
  • Avoid Distractions: Please avoid distractions such as your cellphone, eating, drinking, the radio, GPS and conversing with other passengers.  
  • Slow Down: Lane closures, traffic pattern shifts and reduced speeds are common in work zones. Make sure to slow down when entering a work zone and keep an eye out for road workers.
  • Keep Your Distance: Rear-end crashes are common in work zones – maintain extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you at all times.

Yes, the team meets quarterly with emergency service providers including fire and police agencies that operate in the project area to ensure they are aware of any major planned detours or changes to traffic patterns. Many of these providers receive weekly updates on construction activities along with scheduled lane closures, lane shifts, and detours.

Design-Build is a delivery method for large infrastructure projects. The design-build contractor is responsible for the roadway’s final design and construction. The design-build method can improve efficiencies, reduce costs and expedite project completion since you don’t have to wait for the design to be completed to begin construction.

The Oak Hill Parkway project is a good fit for the design-build method due to its size, complexity and cost. It’s long been identified as a candidate for the design-build method.

A design-build contractor consists of one large team of engineers, construction professionals and other experts. It takes several months for prospective design-build contractors to go through TxDOT’s rigorous procurement process for selection which includes a technical and cost proposal. The design-build contractor for the Oak Hill Parkway Project is Colorado River Constructors (CRC).

As the design-build contractor for the Oak Hill Parkway Project, CRC is dedicated to hiring local workers as well as using state-certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms for subcontracting opportunities. An online webform for Employment and Business Opportunities is available here to help direct you to their leadership for employment and business opportunities.

Tree Preservation

Yes. TxDOT is committed to the healthy preservation of many trees on this project and put unique stipulations in the design-build contract as a result. Several iconic oak trees in the US 290 at William Cannon Drive area will be preserved. They are the Grandmother, Grandfather, Nieces, and Beckett Grove Tree. TxDOT identified several tree preservation areas in addition to the iconic oaks. CRC identified more than 200 other trees that can be saved along the alignment as a result of design optimizations. Per TxDOT’s requirements, CRC has an arborist on their team – this is a unique contract stipulation. 

Yes. TxDOT conducted extensive outreach over several years. Even after the Record of Decision, TxDOT met with multiple groups and identified additional trees to be preserved, which resulted in the removal of the planned trailhead on William Cannon Drive and pulling the shared-use path out of Williamson Creek. In early 2021, additional trees were identified to be preserved. 

We will be planting hundreds of new trees and bushes as part of this project. The contract calls for Eastern Red Cedar, Arizona Cypress, Cedar Elm, Honey Mesquite, Chinquapin Oak, Lacey Oak, Monterrey Oak, White Oak, Live Oak, Red Oak, and Pecan to be planted.

To bring much needed mobility and safety improvements, it is necessary that TxDOT remove some trees located in the state-owned state right of way. 

This is a design-build project, and because the project team can make changes to the roadway design throughout construction, preservation numbers will continue to fluctuate. 

Right now, the plan includes preservation of more than 200 committed trees inside the project limits, in addition to TxDOT’s identified tree preservation areas containing a multitude of trees as well as the six protected iconic trees.

Yes. We ask for the community’s patience and understanding as we begin building Oak Hill Parkway. 

All the materials are being recycled. Some trees are chipped on site and hauled off in bins. Some trees are hauled off in trucks and chipped at the wood recycler’s facilities. Everything will be repurposed into mulch. The recycler will offer the mulch to stores throughout Texas for resale to the general public.

The fencing is designed to protect areas that are not to be disturbed by the public or crews. Trees in that area will remain.

Tree protection fencing locations may expand as project teams finalize design and adjust roadway plans during construction.

The environmental oversight team will coordinate with the arborist and an action plan will be provided to TxDOT. 

An arborist has been hired full time to monitor the trees. Before construction began, the arborist submitted health assessments for each of the iconic trees, and unfortunately, some of them were determined to be in poor condition. 

The arborist is taking proactive measures to reinvigorate the iconic trees to the best extent possible.

The contractor will follow all oak wilt prevention measures during tree clearing operations.

  • Contact us online 
  • Call 512-342-3344

How to Stay Informed

The public outreach team is working hard to proactively keep the community informed about the project. We will be coordinating closely with residents, businesses, the media and our elected officials throughout construction.

We welcome you to sign up for the e-newsletter here, follow us on Twitter at @oakhillparkway and to visit OakHillParkway.com frequently. You can contact us directly here or call our hotline at 512-342-3344. We look forward to future in-person meetings and events to pass along information and listen to the community.  

Traffic updates will be provided on the project website as well as on the project Twitter page, @OakHillParkway. You can sign up for weekly lane closure alerts here

TxDOT and CRC will be installing a “Temporary Travel Time System” along the Oak Hill Parkway corridor. Devices will be placed at different locations throughout the project area to provide commuters with as much real-time traffic and travel information as possible so they know what to expect and can adjust their route if they like.

One of the reasons TxDOT must make improvements in Oak Hill is the lack of viable alternative routes. By improving mobility at the “Y” interchange, we expect improvements in traffic flow in the existing roadway network at project completion.

The best possible alternative route will depend on your destination and the time of day. Free navigation systems such as Google maps can provide real time best alternatives for you. When the project has detours in place, we will notify the community of those routes. 

At the same time, we understand that even prior to construction some drivers avoided the “Y” interchange by taking alternative routes such as Circle Drive and Thomas Springs Road. During construction, this may continue.

Our method to mitigate congestion along alternate routes is by keeping traffic flowing on US 290 and SH 71 as best we can. This effort includes keeping two lanes open in each direction on US 290 and SH 71 during the daytime hours. Lane closures will generally occur on those two highways in the nighttime hours (9pm-5am) with very limited daytime closures. We are also working to keep drivers informed of delays and detours so they can plan accordingly. 

Specific to our team, TxDOT does work to limit construction truck traffic on neighborhood streets within the project area. While some missed turns may occur, the contractor’s trucks are to remain in the state right of way and on state roads to the extent possible.

We would be happy to provide a presentation at your request. Contact us by calling 512-342-3344 to set something up. 

If you have any questions, contact us online or call our hotline at 512-342-3344.