Five transportation updates to know in Central Austin


1.183 South project

The largest transportation project underway in the area will include the addition of a tolled expressway featuring three lanes in each direction and improvements to the non-tolled lanes. The underpass at US 183 and Bolm Road was permanently closed Nov. 5. Intermittent U-turn closures also took place in the area throughout November as the US 183 overpass bridge over Bolm Road was deconstructed to make way for work on the new expressway.
Timeline: 2016-20
Cost: $743 million
Funding sources: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority toll revenue bonds, federal loans, Texas Department of Transportation loans

2. I-35 improvements at Oltorf Street

Crews are nearing completion on the new southbound Woodward Street exit ramp and have begun to build a new southbound I-35 entrance ramp between Woodland Avenue and Oltorf Street. Work is also in progress to install new water lines and storm drains, widen the vehicle lanes, and build bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along the frontage roads. During construction the southbound I-35 frontage road will be reduced to one lane in sections between Woodland and Woodward over the next several months, and the northbound frontage road will remain reduced to one lane in sections while crews complete work on new ramps.
Timeline: February 2017-mid-2019
Cost: $42.6 million
Funding sources: TxDOT

3.Capitol Complex Master Plan

The project will construct a tree-lined pedestrian mall and two state office buildings on Congress Avenue north of the Capitol building. On Dec. 1, Congress permanently closed to traffic from 15th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Southbound bus drop-off and traffic to the Bullock Texas State History Museum from Martin Luther King Blvd. remain open. A turnaround has been constructed at Congress and 15th to accommodate the closure.
Timeline: 2018-22
Cost: $581 million (Phase 1)
Funding sources: Texas Facilities Commission

4. Longhorn Dam pedestrian and bicycle bridge study

The city has begun a study to identify needs and issues from the public concerning the Pleasant Valley Road bridge crossing Lady Bird Lake over the Longhorn Dam. Proposed new alignments include widening the existing bridge or constructing separate structures. A public meeting was held Nov. 13, and two more will be held in the future on dates to be determined. The total timeframe for the project will be at least five years.
Timeline: July 2018-fall 2019
Cost: $500,000
Funding sources: Capital Metro sales tax revenue

5. Sabine Street promenade

Work to make the area more accessible to bikers and pedestrians includes sidewalk widening; installation of two-way bike lanes, benches, trees, streetlights and traffic signals; and improvements to water lines, storm drains and wastewater piping. Contractors are working on the west side of Sabine Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. Once that is completed, workers will move to the east side of Sabine between Fifth and Sixth streets. Fifth street will remain one-way from Red River Street to I-35 until summer 2019.
Timeline: June 2018-summer 2019
Cost: $2.8 million
Funding sources: city of Austin 2010 and 2012 mobility bonds

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Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. He graduated in 2011 from Boston University and worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in January of 2018.
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