Dips and cracks plague East Stassney Lane in southeast Austin

Residents saw the uneven surface is difficult to drive on (KXAN/Dugan Feb 2017)
Residents saw the uneven surface is difficult to drive on (KXAN/Dugan Feb 2017)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Driving along East Stassney Lane between Burleson Road and Teri Road can feel like a rollercoaster with all the dips, cracks and potholes.

Mark Berger has lived in the area since the late ’70s and says the problem has been something he’s had to deal with for a long time. “The speed limit is 55, you’re taking your life in your hands if you try to go 55 on this because it is so bumpy,” said Berger.

A spokesperson for the Austin Public Works Department says they are aware of the problems on the road and even put up signs in 2007 warning drivers about the rough terrain. The department says this section of East Stassney Lane is built on shifting soil called “shrink/swell soil,” which is common in Texas but not stable in severe climates.

The city says to smooth out East Stassney Lane it would need a total reconstruction, which comes with a $14 million price tag and that money isn’t immediately available. The road was identified as part of a proposed 2010 bond package, but ultimately not funded. It was resubmitted for the 2016 mobility bond package, but because the road didn’t not meet the criteria for the Corridor Improvement Project, it was not included. The city expects to include East Stassney Lane in the next bond package which is already under development.

District 2 City Council Member Delia Garza says she is planning on tackling road issues not just on Stassney Lane but in all areas of southeast Austin. “While much of Southeast Austin has been historically underserved, I am proud of the work our office has accomplished in two short years since District representation was implemented, including more funding for sidewalks, more advocacy for infrastructure improvements in District 2,” said Garza in a statement.

Garza says she didn’t support placing the 2016 mobility bond on the November ballot because of the “lack of funding for Southeast Austin.” Berger echoes that sentiment, “I think that’s part of the issue, the side of the town we are on.”

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