City announces meeting to discuss Old San Antonio Road closure


Staff illustration based on City of Austin map

The City of Austin’s Watershed Protection office announced in late March that the city would be closing a section of Old San Antonio Road near Akins High School that includes a dangerous hilly curve and low-water crossing that floods during heavy rains. The city will host a meeting on June 18 to discuss a proposal to close the road.

A meeting to discuss a proposal to permanently close Old San Antonio Road near campus will be held on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Akins High School library.

In late March, the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department announced the proposal to close the section of Old San Antonio Road that includes a low-water crossing near Southpark Meadows. City officials believe this will reduce flood risks at this dangerous creek crossing.

The department reports that up to 16 feet of water could potentially pass over the roadway during heavy rain downpours. Since 2013, there have been five flood-related incidents at this spot, putting drivers,  passengers and emergency responders at risk.

The project team explored other options but recommends the permanent closure based upon cost, constructability and effectiveness.

Some school officials and students have expressed concern about how the closure will affect bus traffic to and from the campus. Buses rely heavily on the road, leaving and arriving before and after school on the street to make their way to Interstate 35. Some Akins staff have said they would prefer that the city wait until to close the low-water crossing after it finishes a proposed extension of Brezza Lane that would give school buses a connection from the bus loop off of Old San Antonio Road to Interstate 35.

Principal Tina Salazar previously said that she’s thought about multiple options, but isn’t sure what the route of arrival and departure will be next year.

Proposal Highlights

  • The low water crossing will remain open to pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency vehicles.
  • The historic bridge will remain.
  • A cul-de-sac will be built on the west side of the low water crossing to allow vehicles to turn around easily.
  • A new fire station is scheduled to open in 2019 at the intersection of Old San Antonio Road and FM 1626 and will be able to respond quickly to emergencies.
  • The City of Austin is in the early planning stages for an extension of Brezza Lane and a traffic signal on FM 1626.

More information about the Old San Antonio Road closure can be found on the city’s website about the proposal.