Despite appearances, work on Austin’s most dangerous intersection not delayed

Crews working to rebuild the signal light at Manchaca Road and Slaughter Lane (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)
Crews working to rebuild the signal light at Manchaca Road and Slaughter Lane (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Our viewers reached out to KXAN expressing concern that work at Austin’s most dangerous intersection, Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road, is behind schedule — mainly because it seems no crews have been in the work zone for weeks.

Bridget Pinkard lives near the intersection. “I haven’t seen a lot of activity, but I haven’t seen zero,” she said. City of Austin spokesperson Amica Bose says that just because drivers haven’t seen boots on ground, that doesn’t mean work isn’t underway.

“We are checking for the underground utility conflicts. It’s very critical, it’s a busy intersection, we want to keep it open at all times during construction.”

Those underground checks ensure the work above ground can get done. That’s what crews were working on Thursday, the first steps of re-building the light at Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road.

“Once the signal work is fully completed, we will be able to remove those barrels cornering off the medians that were built on Manchaca Road,” Bose said.

Medians will also be built on Slaughter Lane, plus bicycle paths. Pinkard says turn lanes are a whole separate issue.

“A lot of the congestion is caused by people trying to get into the turn lane, but can’t because there’s a really, really minimal amount of space there.”

Once work is complete, dual left turn lanes will be constructed at the intersection on both streets to reduce delays and improve mobility. Bike lanes would be added along Manchaca Road adjacent to the intersection to enhance mobility for all modes of transportation.

Bose says because of the amount of improvements, work at Slaughter and Manchaca is some of the most complex currently underway. “It’s such a busy intersection we want the traveling public to use it at all times. We can’t close it at any time during construction.”

Construction is expected to be completed on the intersection next summer. The project will cost $1.5 million, with the Texas Department of Transportation picking up a portion of the bill.

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