Local business owner fears changes to RM 2222 will shut down his business

TxDOT is looking to add lanes to help traffic at FM 222/RM 620 (Dugan/2017)

AUSTIN (KXAN)– The Four Points area where Ranch to Market 2222 intersects with Ranch to Market 620 is notorious for traffic headaches. The Texas Department of Transportation is working to alleviate that problem with several proposed changes to the intersection that will improve mobility and safety. However, some business owners in the area say that the proposed changes will do more harm than good.

Currently, 38,000 vehicles travel through this section of roadway and predictions show that could jump to 54,000 by 2038.

Skot Ingram says the changes could potentially put him out of business. He’s worked in the same spot for decades, mainly building huge pieces of oil field equipment.

“This is kind of like home to me. Fifty years,” Ingram says.

The plan calls for a bypass lane from RM 620 to RM 2222 toward Central Austin. The goal of the bypass road is to enhance traffic flow and reduce congestion at the intersection by redirecting traffic from south of the intersection that travels to and from RM 2222. This also allows more green time for through-traffic.

The project consists of adding an outside lane on northbound RM 620 from Steiner Ranch Boulevard to RM 2222. The new proposed bypass road would then be constructed from RM 620 along the LCRA electrical transmission line right-of-way to intersect RM 2222. At this location, an additional travel lane would be added to both sides of RM 2222 to move the traffic past the Vandegrift High School entrance on McNeil Road. This is where Ingram says there’s a problem for him.

“They’re talking about putting all these barriers up,” Ingram said. “Which is going to make it basically impossible for me to move out our product we build.”

To safely move the over sized loads that Ingram’s company builds, RM 2222 road must briefly close in both directions. From there, a semi carrying the equipment can safely merge into traffic. Ingram is worried that barriers will make it impossible for him to move his product.

“I do not see a way to do it,” he said.

Skot Ingram says proposed barriers on FM 2222 would hurt his business which builds these items. (Dugan 2017)
Skot Ingram says proposed barriers on FM 2222 would hurt his business which builds these items. (Dugan 2017)

He feels focusing funds on RM 620 instead will help traffic flow better than making changes on RM 2222.

“By their numbers they are lowering the numbers on this road to 40 percent of what is here now. The new bypass road — which is going behind that way — is going to take 60 percent of the traffic,” Ingram says. “They still feel they need to put a divider up which is going to kill my business. It’s going to be extremely hard to do something.”

TxDOT has met with Ingram on four occasions and officials say they recognize he has unique challenges in terms of access to his business. They plan to continue to work with him and others in the area who have a similar situation.

TxDOT also says public input is encouraged and that input helps shape both the scope and character of our projects.

Another public meeting on the intersection is set to happen this fall. A date has yet to be set.

 

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