City of Pflugerville Pfennig Lane Widening + Reconstruction
Upgrading one of the City’s main thoroughfares to be a major collector
Pfennig Lane was an existing thoroughfare in Pflugerville connecting several residential subdivisions to FM 685. Although it served a significant amount of daily traffic, Pfennig Lane was still in its initial configuration consisting of two 11-foot lanes that had deteriorated due to age. As part of the City’s 2014 Road Bond program, the citizens of Pflugerville elected to improve the roadway by reconstructing it to a wider three-lane facility with curb and gutter, sidewalks, and new street lighting so it could better meet the mobility and safety needs of the community.
KFA was selected by the City to perform the design in two phases: first, a preliminary schematic, followed by detailed design for construction.
In the schematic phase, KFA evaluated alignment alternatives: widening to the north or widening to the south. For widening to the north, all additional ROW could be negotiated with a single property owner who has a good working relationship with the City. However, it would also require costly relocation of electrical transmission towers. For widening to the south, the ROW would need to be negotiated and purchased from 10 different property owners—a potentially long process. With input from the City, KFA recommended widening to the south, with a lower overall project cost. KFA also evaluated the potential for a reclaimed water line and a wastewater line during this phase.
Following the schematic design, the road bond passed in 2014, and the City selected KFA to complete the final design. In addition to preparing roadway PS&E, KFA assisted with bidding and construction phase services and a public open house. During the detailed design phase, we found solutions to the following challenges:
- Construction Phasing: Since the existing roadway was an important thoroughfare for the City and only a three-lane pavement section was proposed, phasing construction to allow the traveling public to use the road during construction was difficult. Therefore, in coordination with the City, KFA recommended converting the roadway to westbound only traffic in the second phase of construction (approximately 9 months). The proximity of other eastbound roads in the vicinity of the project allowed adequate capacity for detouring traffic during this phase. The westbound direction was selected for continuous operation to allow emergency vehicles coming from FM 685 quicker response times to the neighborhoods along the corridor.
- Detention Needs: Since Pfennig Lane is subject to the City’s detention ordinance, a detention pond was required for the project. Due to limited right-of-way, the pond needed to be located outside the right-of-way on private property north of the project. The property is owned by a developer with the assumption that it will one day be developed for commercial use. To accommodate the needs of the roadway project and the future development, KFA designed a detention pond sized for the roadway drainage; since the pond is contained by an earthen berm rather than existing structures or development, it would be easy for the property owner to expand it in the future to accommodate on-site drainage from the property when development occurs.
Construction of this bond project was completed on schedule and within budget in 2020. As an upgraded, three-lane facility, Pfennig Lane allows travelers to access FM 685 more efficiently and safely than before. In addition, KFA’s ability to identify and evaluate alternative designs during the schematic phase resulted in an ultimate transportation solution that was cost effective and met the project objectives within existing constraints.