Four transportation updates to know in Central Austin

The Texas Department of Transportation is working on a project to make improvements on I-35 in North Austin. Courtesy TxDOT
The Texas Department of Transportation is working on a project to make improvements on I-35 in North Austin. Courtesy TxDOT

The Texas Department of Transportation is working on a project to make improvements on I-35 in North Austin. Courtesy TxDOT

1. Shoal Creek Boulevard bike lanes

After a one-way protected bicycle lane on Shoal Creek Boulevard between Foster Lane and US 183 opened in September, crews are now working on a two-way bike lane on Shoal Creek between Foster and 38th Street. A small section of that two-way bike lane has opened between 38th and 39 1/2th Street on the southern end of the project. Crews are working on improvements at the intersection of Shoal Creek and Foster to allow the bike lane to cross that intersection. When that intersection work finishes, they will begin work on a 2-mile stretch of the bike lane from Foster to Shoalmont Drive, set to open in January. The full project is expected to be complete in summer 2020.

Timeline: July 2019-summer 2020

Cost: $3 million-$4 million

Funding source: 2016 city of Austin mobility bond

2. 183 South project

This project will add a tolled expressway on each side of US 183 between US 290 and SH 71 and will also make improvements to the nontolled lanes. In mid-November, crews started deconstructing the old US 183 main lanes between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bolm Road, which will allow the tollway to be built in that location. Traffic has been moved to new general-purpose lanes in the area. In the upcoming months, new U-turns will replace current options between Montopolis Drive and Patton Avenue, and reconstruction of northbound US 183 over the Colorado River is still ongoing with a detour in place.

Timeline: 2016-late 2020

Cost: $743 million

Funding sources: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority toll revenue bonds, federal loans, Texas Department of Transportation loans

3. Sabine Street promenade

This project is intended to make the area more accessible to bikers and pedestrians. Crews widened the sidewalk and installed two-way bike lanes, benches, trees, streetlights and traffic signals. The project reached substantial completion, according to the city, on Oct. 12. Before the area can be fully opened, a Capital Metro project along W. Fourth Street must be completed .

Timeline: spring 2018-2019

Cost: $2.8 million

Funding sources: 2010 and 2012 city of Austin mobility bonds

4. I-35 at Oltorf

This project includes the reconstruction of the Oltorf Street bridge, which is already complete, as well as improvements to the I-35 main travel lanes, ramps and frontage roads. Crews are working on constructing the shoulder along the I-35 main lanes and a new center barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes.

Timeline: February 2017-mid-2020

Cost: $42.6 million

Funding source: TxDOT
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at


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