The Bell Boulevard realignment project in Cedar Park, which will relocate the stretch of Bell Boulevard between Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Cedar Park Drive to the alignment of Old Highway 183, is going to require a substantial utility relocation, according to the city.

Overhead utilities will be relocated outside of the new roadway alignment and placed underground—a project that could cost nearly $4 million, according to city documents.

Cedar Park City Council voted unanimously during a Nov. 14 meeting to authorize an agreement for the construction of the utility relocation project with Austin Underground Inc. in an amount not to exceed $3,906,205.

The city underwent a competitive sealed proposal process to determine the right firm to complete the project. The city determined Austin Underground Inc. offered the best value, though the company’s initial proposed cost was over budget. Since the project is of an uncommon sort, typical costs were difficult to estimate, according to the city. The city met with Pedernales Electric Cooperative to explore ways to bring the project within budget.

The city went with an alternative design option that eliminates overhead utilities north of Buttercup Creek—except for two poles in front of Goodwill, which can be relocated at a later date—and leads to cost savings of about $1.27 million, according to city documents. The project cost is now under the initial budget of $4,325,000.

The Bell Boulevard realignment is part of the city’s efforts to redevelop this portion of Bell Boulevard into a mixed-use development. Construction on the road project is expected to begin in spring 2020, with completion anticipated for fall 2021.