US 290 expansion: TxDOT holds workshop to hear community feedback

The Texas Department of Transportation is slowing down the timeline on its US 290 expansion project in Dripping Springs. The project plans to turn the current four-lane road into a six-lane freeway, and to connect it to Oak Hill Parkway.

TxDOT held a workshop on Saturday where residents were able to view the project and provide feedback. This comes after TxDOT says they received over a thousand comments on their previous public meeting.

"One thing that they seem to be doing right is getting a lot of input," said community member Helen Darling. "When you are doing a project of this magnitude that will impact this many people and businesses, then yeah, I think it is good to get that feedback."

Community members are given a survey to fill out as they review boards displaying the future plans for US 290 from Oak Hill to Dripping Springs.

"We have had people coming and going leaving feedback, leaving little Post Its on the maps, and so just trying to get more information from the community in terms of what they want," TxDOT public information officer Antonio Lujan said. "We had to just kind of strip it back because a lot of people wanted to provide more feedback."

Due to significant growth, TxDOT plans to upgrade the existing US 290 highway from four lanes to six lanes, and add pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. 

It will connect to Oak Hill Parkway, add frontage roads, and remove traffic signals on the main lanes. 

The surveys given will help evaluate design options.

"We certainly need some solutions, however, I don't believe that widening it to this extent," Darling said. "The plans, the design I have seen previously, is going to bring in additional problems, as many problems as they hope to solve."


"All of this information is going to be compiled into a spreadsheet, and then the engineers can go back to the design table based on what people have provided feedback on, then we will be proposing different design options," Lujan said.

TxDOT is currently in phase two of four in the project, known as the environmental study. The next phase is the final design.

"By the next public meeting, which will be meeting number two, they should have a design option available or a variety of design options that the community can look at, including a no-build option," Lujan said.

"They need to entertain alternate options like creating alternate routes to alleviate the traffic that way, I think that is step one," Darling said. "I don't think no-build, if no-build in their language means we are not going to do this at all, we are going to do nothing; I don't know that that is the right move."