Austin’s first ‘sustainable’ road project under way

Construction trucks are working on building the new Parmer Lane extension.
Construction trucks are working on building the new Parmer Lane extension.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Road crews will break ground on a new “sustainable” roadway in Eastern Travis County Wednesday.

It’s a new 1.5 mile extension to Parmer Lane from U.S. Highway 290 to State Highway 130.

Right now, construction trucks are turning over a lot of dirt to create the road. But come March, it will be a finished road with a planned community development surrounding it.

What makes this road unique is the way that water runs off of it. Typically, roads are constructed with curbs that trap rain and runoff water and drain it into a concrete retention pond. This road will drain the water into ditches that have native Texas plants.

“We’ll trap that water and have it try to sink into the ground and then respire up into the atmosphere again to help it keep raining again,” said Pete Dwyer, President of Dwyer Realty.

The project costs $9 million. That’s being split between Travis County, the City of Austin, and developer Dwyer Realty, which has big plans for the 1,400 acres that surround the roadway known as Wildhorse Ranch.

“We’ll have about two thousand homes, we’ll have about three thousand apartments and condos, and then we’ll have a couple millions of square feet for business,” said Dwyer.

The development is planned to build out over a 10-year period with the first homes being constructed in early 2015.

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