Round Rock officials approved engineering contracts for turn lanes to be added to eastbound SH 45 and northbound I-35 near the Round Rock Crossing shopping center during an April 14 council meeting.

Transportation Director Gary Hudder said in the April 12 packet briefing that these turn lanes have long been requested by operators of the shopping center located in the southeast corner of I-35 and SH 45, citing to safety concerns.

"Working with the city manager's office, [we] decided it was appropriate for us to move forward and make these modifications to the fast-traveled and congested frontage roads surrounding this retail center," Hudder said.

A total of three turn lanes will be created to enhance mobility and safety in the area with two on the east and westbound frontage lanes of SH 45 and one on the northbound I-35 frontage road. Engineering firm K. Friese + Associates won the $349,690.90 contract, which will be paid through the city's transportation and economic development corporation, also known as Type B funds.

Hudder said the firm was selected because it had already been working on improvements to the nearby Greenlawn Boulevard.

The scope of work described in the contracts includes roadway and drainage engineering, geotechnical investigation, signal improvements, retaining wall design and utility relocation coordination, according to city documents.