Several active businesses, including McDonald’s and Metroplex Piano, have closed their doors or been demolished along LBJ between Greenville Avenue and Forest Lane in recent months, leaving Lake Highlands residents scratching their heads. What gives?
Councilman Adam McGough says the closures are part of the $1.3 billion widening of LBJ East from Central Expressway to Interstate 30 and the $31-million addition of sound walls, now under construction. New contiguous service roads will make it easier for the 200,000 cars per day which travel on the stretch to patronize Lake Highlands businesses along the way, and sound barriers will protect Lake Highlands homes nearby.
The LBJ improvement plan was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission in May after teams of LH residents and business owners traveled to Austin to advocate for the proposal. A compromise was required, though, due to opposition by (then) State Sen. Don Huffines and current State Sen. Bob Hall to two toll lanes, identical to those already built on LBJ West. Instead of 14 lanes – five free and two tolled on each side – LBJ East will have 12 total – five free and one tolled on each side.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024.
The McDonald’s tract is large, and they’ve apparently requested a permit from the City to open a drive-thru-only site on the smaller parcel remaining after LBJ construction. We’ll keep you updated if/when their plans are approved.