Business will soon be booming between Boonville and Old Reliance Roads along Highway 6. Movies and meals will be sold later this year, and of course, there's the new high school.
"While we haven't had a new high school in a long time, we're trying to predict, over the long term, what type of issues we might have with respect to that area," said Assistant City Manager Barbara Bayer.
Soon, Old Reliance will have a much higher volume of traffic. At least 3,000 cars per day are expected to be passing through, and that's just with the new high school. That doesn't include possible residences in the Austin Colony direction, or commercial development near Highway 6.
"Household traffic's pretty unpredictable," Bayer said, "but you can anticipate number per household and travelling per day, so those are things we're looking at trying to predict future development and growth of travel in that area."
"We want to build something, if we're going to build something there, that would last well into the future," said Bob Appleton with TXDoT.
He's talking about the Old Reliance overpass at 6. What's the best way to rework the roads in an area that's about to be turned upside-down?
Apparently, it's turning the roads upside-down.
The initial reports coming back to TXDoT show the best way to deal with the new traffic is to build 6 over a widened Old Reliance. Currently, Old Reliance acts as an overpass to the highway.
"There would definitely be an effect of traffic on Highway 6," said Appleton. "We would do everything we could to maintain the number of lanes we have right now, but it's going to be a challenge, engineering-wise."
A challenge that wouldn't be done until early in the 2010s, a few years after Earl Rudder High opens. Add in commercial development now and later and possible new residences, and all signs point to major changes and major roadwork.
The preliminary estimates on the construction at Old Reliance Road and Highway 6 totals between $15 and $17 million. Congressman Chet Edwards has earmarked two million to TXDoT for the project.
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