"Usage on [SH 130] has and continues to exceed expectations, and TxDOT stands ready to deliver on its promise to provide safe and reliable roadway systems," Linda Sexton, toll operations deputy director with the Texas Department of Transportation, said at a ground breaking ceremony for the project Thursday morning. "In anticipation of the future and the increase due to the area's population boom, it's necessary to plan for the future, and we see this expansion as the opportunity to address both current and future congestion concerns."
The $36.7 million expansion will add a third lane in each direction between SH 45 to US 290. The next phase of the project, which will kick off in early 2019, will widen SH 130 between US 290 and SH 71. The project will also include pavement repairs and the widening of bridges along the roadway.
"The tollway has made Pflugerville a regional community," Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales said Thursday morning. "We need the expansion on the tollway to get citizens in, out and through Pflugerville."
Sexton said the project will not cost taxpayers any money and will not use revenue generated by toll road fees.
"It will be paid for by funds that were not used during the initial SH 130 construction but remain available for construction improvements on the Central Texas Turnpike System," Sexton said.
As the project is under construction, the 80 mph speed limit will be lowered to 70 mph from south of US 290 to north of Cameron Road, according to TxDOT. Speed limit reductions will be enforced along the roadway as construction progresses and will resume to normal once construction is complete.
The first portion of the project is expected to be completed in late 2020.