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Lohmans Ford Road Improvements

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Many residents don’t like the idea of Lohmans Ford Road being improved, nor do they support the building of SH 35 SW. The residents spoke out in a public hearing with much disdain over the proposed improvements which are to appear on the ballot this November.

The hearing was held by the Travis County Commissioners Court on July 26th to discuss the final project list. A part of the list may be considered for a part of the bond referendum. Commissioner Karen Huber noted that SH 45 SW was not among the projects being considered. To help determine the need and scope of a possible referendum the court appointed a citizens bond advisory committee.

County Judge Samuel Biscoe said the court would decide whether to have a referendum Aug. 9.

In a report last week, the committee endorsed having a referendum and presented 36 projects totaling $205,649,433, including inflation and issuance costs, for the court’s consideration. If approved by voters, the projects would be paid for with bonds.

Twenty-six residents spoke during public comment. Several asked the court not to include Lohmans Ford Road improvements in the referendum.

The original project was to straighten 2.75 miles of Lohmans Ford and add paved shoulders and intersection alterations. The committee later reduced the scope to $500,000 for preliminary engineering costs for a four-lane divided arterial from Boggy Ford Road to Ivean Pearson Road, according to the committee’s final report.

At the hearing, several residents said the road improvements were unwarranted due to a lack of safety concerns. They stated that the project was a poor use of taxpayer funds and would take away the public’s access to a scenic point, among other arguments.

Resident Don Killough estimated that he has driven on the road 2,500 times in the last seven years. He noted that many people stop to enjoy the view.

“If Lohmans Road was moved, the view would be from a private lot. The public would no longer have access to it,” he said. “It would be several hundred feet back. Why would you do that?”

He added that if he felt the road was unsafe, he would be the first to support it.

Cleo Schneider said safety was an issue on Lohmans Ford and encouraged anyone interested in safety to review the emergency service district records.

Others advocated for SH 45 SW, a long-proposed road that would connect SH 45 to FM 1626. Residents argued that the road would alleviate traffic on Brodie Lane.

Resident Vikki Goodwin said that Southwest Austin residents had been promised traffic relief on Brodie Lane in the 1990s. She said there are two schools and a pool along the road, as well as commuter traffic.

Residents also voiced support for parks projects such as the Arkansas Bend/Dick Pearson project and the Onion Creek greenway improvements.


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