Paving the Way for Safety

Raider Way and Woodview Drive construction begins this school year
On a sunny afternoon, workers use an excavator to dig ups holes to make underline pipe for the construction of the new road.
On a sunny afternoon, workers use an excavator to dig ups holes to make underline pipe for the construction of the new road.

As the 2023-24 school year began, so did construction on Raider Way and Woodview Drive. The goal of the project is to expand the roads into three lanes: one to travel each way as well as a center lane for turning.

For several years now, residents of the community (including students) have raised concerns about the road’s conditions to no avail. In July, the Leander City Council approved a $15.1 million bid from Chasco Constructors to complete the project.

“So far, everyone I’ve talked to, especially teachers who have been here for a while, are very happy because it needed to be done for a while,” associate principal Stratton Brown said. “With the growth of the school and the growth of the community around us, having a two-lane street right there is just not feasible for the long-term.”

Many factors contributed to the postponement of the project.

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“Leading up to the start of construction earlier this school year, the City has worked closely with adjacent property owners and the school district to acquire additional land needed to widen Raider Way,” community engagement manager Lyndee Matthews said in a statement on behalf of the City of Leander. “However, since 2016 the City has had to adjust to new regional floodplain requirements as well as changes to adjacent developments, which ultimately delayed our ability to finalize the new road design.”

The delays in construction forced the project to be commenced during the school year, with the number of activities taking place on campus throughout the year making difficult to find a more appropriate timeframe.

As the morning begins, the workers start working on the construction as it is predicted to take up to two years. (Fakheri Zayed)

“Is it ideal?” Brown said. “No, but there’s never really a good time, just because it is a busy street. Even in the summertime we’ve got kids coming up to camps or band or athletic camps or anything like that. Admin pretty much works all summer. That street’s always used so I don’t know if there’s ever a convenient time.”

The construction has been predicted to take years to complete.

“Due to the vast scope of work involved in this project, it will not be feasible to confine work to a summer period,” Matthews said. “Rather, construction is expected to span two entire school years. At this time, the City’s contractor is working on underground utilities, storm drains, and detention ponds. Completion of most of the Raider Way road improvement is anticipated by fall 2024, and total project completion is anticipated by summer 2025.”

This long wait is expected to pay off, as modifications to the road will improve the safety of those commuting to and from school each day. With the current state of the road, drivers become stuck in traffic behind those trying to turn into the parking lot. Some even resort to entering oncoming traffic just to bypass the lines – an issue that the new turning lane will resolve.

“Completion of the Raider Way and Woodview Drive roadway improvements is critical to improving vehicle traffic flows to and from the school campuses while also accommodating safe pedestrian travel throughout the area,” Matthews said.

The general response from the community has been positive, and construction has generally not impeded students’ school experience. 

“I just hope that we can continue to coexist peacefully with each other, the school and these construction workers,” Brown said. “They’ve been really good to work with so far, so I hope that that can continue for the remainder of the project.”

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