The Texas Department of Transportation plans to break ground in early 2019 on the second widening project along SH 130 east of Austin.

During the Oct. 25 meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission, the governing body for TxDOT, commissioners approved the $56.1 million construction contract with OHL USA Inc.

The project involves adding a third lane in each direction of SH 130 between Hwy. 290 and SH 71 as well as project widening bridges and pavement repairs. The work will take about two years to complete, and TxDOT will lower the speed limit to 70 mph from 80 mph during construction.

On Oct. 4, the state agency broke ground on the first section of the SH 130 widening project between Hwy. 290 and SH 45 N, estimated to cost $36.7 million. During construction, the speed limit of SH 130 between Hwy. 290 and Cameron Road is reduced to 70 mph. The first phase will wrap up in 2020.

In late 2017 the entire 22-mile project was on hold after Gov. Greg Abbott called to suspend state funding for new toll road construction in the state because he did not want state funds from propositions 1 and 7 to be used on roads with tolls.

The freeze on toll projects ended in April when the commission approved funding for the expansion of SH 130 using funds from the Central Texas Turnpike System, according to TxDOT.