Speed limit on portion of SH 130 to decrease as construction begins on $36.7M expansion project

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Drivers on SH 130 can expect to see decreased speed limits on portions of the toll road as crews work to add an additional lane in each direction between SH 45 and US 290.

“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.

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COMMENT
  1. one question: why wasn’t tollway built with 3+ lanes in each direction in the first place?

    • Excellent point…it appears the city is reactive and not proactive as most governments unfortunately are due to budgets and money games. A simple population growth map and projection would have more than warranted 3 lanes in each direction. The frustrating part of the current situation is that drivers in that area do not respond/ adjust well to high volume and it severely cripples the whole corridor of 130. Hopefully by adding another lane it will ease this GROWING issue but this will only be a “Band-Aid”. The metropolitan area of Austin under its explosive growth should consider implementing a mass transit system to reduce local automobile traffic by a significant percentage. That should include a mono rail system above highways with stations located in key areas or intersecting nodes or even better autonomous automobiles of some sort. Self driving cars wouldn’t require the infrastructure that a mono rail system would require and could be shared like an uber. It would essentially be a driverless uber service constantly patrolling populated areas calculating the most efficient way to transport people and act accordingly. Sounds good right? The people need to demand this…

      • Mono-rail, autonomous automobiles, self driving cars, driverless uber service constantly patrolling populated areas calculating the most efficient way to transport people and act accordingly.

        Yes. And if pigs had wings they could fly.

        I am so glad I moved away from Austin and this type of new-thought.

  2. Good comment, nthdegree. It sounds like they had the money sitting there, all along. It would have been a lot cheaper to spend that money in the first place, instead of trying to reto-fit what they already have. You could also ask the question of why they built all those expensive toll booths, if they later decided not to use them. It’s also a fair question to ask why they never finished the service drives on SH-45, if they had all this money from the original project just sitting there. I think the reason is they want to force Pflugerville residents headed to Round Rock onto the tollway, so they can collect the fee.

    My own guess is that the section of the tollway that is being expanded is due to Pflugerville commuters wanting to get out of Pflugerville in the morning, and back home in the afternoon/evening. Maybe what we really need is better job opportunities in Pflugerville, so people could work in the same city they live. PCDC has no business spending our sales tax money to recruit any more blue collar employers to Pflugerville – we’ve got too many of those already. What we need is GOOD paying jobs, to keep people in the city, so there isn’t a tollway jam-up trying to work elsewhere.

    I would also be interested in knowing who the woman is in the picture with the hard hat, flip flops, and sun glasses. Was she brought in from California to help with the construction?

Kirby Killough
Kirby Killough joined Community Impact after working in broadcast news. She is currently the editor for the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto edition of Community Impact.
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