$2M awarded to Round Rock to study abandoned MoKan rail corridor

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MoKan corridor
MoKan corridor

Regional elected officials approved dedicating $2 million in state funds to the city of Round Rock to begin a study of transportation options along an abandoned rail corridor segment that runs through the city.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization transportation policy board, comprising local elected officials, approved the funding Monday evening. The move also drew support from state Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, whose district includes a segment of MoKan.

“As more and more people move to Williamson County and northern Travis County, it’s critical we address our transportation needs,” she said.

The 28-mile MoKan corridor stretches east of I-35 from just south of Hwy. 29 in Georgetown to east of downtown Austin.

On Dec. 2, several CAMPO board members as well as Israel met to discuss funding a study.

The group agreed to split the corridor into four segments: Hwy. 29 to RM 1431, RM 1431 to SH 45 N, SH 45 N to Hwy. 290, and Hwy. 290 to Central Austin. The group also recommended awarding the funding to Round Rock.

Kenney Fort Boulevard

Round Rock officials pushed to have the MoKan corridor studied because of its proximity to the planned location of the extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard segments 2 and 3, which would be a six-lane road built adjacent to MoKan from Forest Creek Drive to SH 45 N. The city is advancing the road project more quickly after the announcement of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions being planned in the vicinity.

Although no part of Kenney Fort would be built in the MoKan right of way, Round Rock officials want to ensure building the roadway will not preclude any future transportation use of MoKan.

“We will need to understand how that works, how it looks and how the two can live in harmony,” said Gary Hudder, director of the transportation department for Round Rock.