TxDOT, tolling agency partner to improve connectivity between two toll roads east of Austin

Terry McCoy, Texas Department of Transportation district engineer, left, and Jim Mills, former board member of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, pour dirt from SH 130 and Toll 290 into a jar to celebrate the agencies' partnership on a project at Toll 290 and SH 130.

Terry McCoy, Texas Department of Transportation district engineer, left, and Jim Mills, former board member of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, pour dirt from SH 130 and Toll 290 into a jar to celebrate the agencies' partnership on a project at Toll 290 and SH 130.

Image description
290 130 future configuration_rendering
Drivers who use Toll 290 and SH 130 and those on the frontage roads could start seeing relief from traffic congestion by the end of 2021.

Construction began in December on a $127 million project to add three flyovers, or direct connectors, between the two toll roads east of Austin. Besides improving mobility on the two highways, the project is also expected to shift about 67 percent of vehicle traffic off the frontage roads, providing relief to those drivers who prefer a non-tolled option, according to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which is overseeing construction.

“A goal of the ... [Mobility Authority] is always to improve the improvements,” said Ray Wilkerson, chairman of the agency’s board of directors. “We try to always be cognizant of when things don’t always work.”

The Mobility Authority celebrated the start of construction Jan. 30 at its board meeting with a ceremonial merging of dirt from Toll 290 and SH 130. The agency celebrated along with the Texas Department of Transportation, which is its partner on the project.

TxDOT is providing $41.1 million toward the project for the eastbound Toll 290 to southbound SH 130 flyover, which will be non-tolled. Funding will come from toll revenue from the Central Texas Turnpike System, which includes SH 130 and SH 45 N.

TxDOT Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy said TxDOT made the decision to keep its flyover non-tolled to remain consistent with the existing eastbound Toll 290 to northbound SH 130 flyover that is also not tolled.

The Mobility Authority is financing the other two flyovers from northbound and southbound SH 130 to westbound Toll 290. Those two flyovers will be tolled.

TxDOT is also working to improve mobility on SH 130 by adding a third lane to the toll road between SH 45 N and SH 71. Construction started in October on the segment between SH 45 N and Toll 290. Work will begin in mid-February on the segment between Toll 290 and SH 71.

“For many years [SH 130] was an underutilized facility; that is not the case today,” McCoy said.

McCoy said the expansion of SH 130 will work in tandem with the flyovers project to improve congestion in the area.

“We need the DCs, and they perform an independent function, but the roads that they tie to have to function well,” he said. “It’s that interconnectivity that we’re trying to establish.”

SHARE THIS STORY
By Amy Denney

Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.


MOST RECENT

(Graphic illustration courtesy Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘We’ve got this’: Central Texas librarians step up to help their communities amid coronavirus pandemic

The example in Bee Cave appears to be just one of many stories relating how, amid the COVID-19 crisis, librarians are helping their communities throughout the Greater Austin area.

Nearly a week and a half after launching, Round Rock Cares has received more than 140 applications and approximately $900,000 in financial assistance requests. (Community Impact Staff)
More than 80 small businesses receive funds from Round Rock Cares

Nearly a week and a half after launching, Round Rock Cares has received more than 140 applications and approximately $900,000 in financial assistance requests.

Economic relief options for small business owners include the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Has your Austin-area small business been affected by the coronavirus? Here are resources you can access.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a short-term loan program intended to help cover payroll and a separate, long-term loan program intended to help business owners stay afloat.

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt. (Courtesy Pixabay)
String of racist attacks via videoconferencing software leads to heightened security concerns

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt.

Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto community rises up to help neighbors, businesses in need

From local pastors to school nurses to young professionals working from home, community members are using the resources they have—be it an hour of time to go to the grocery store or an extra roll of toilet paper—to lend a helping hand in a time of need.

St. David's HealthCare has temporarily consolidated services provided by St. David's Surgical Hospital, St. David's Emergency Center—Bee Cave and St. David's Emergency Center—Cedar Park. (Evan Marczynski/Community Impact Newspaper)
St. David’s temporarily closes three Austin locations, redeploys resources during COVID-19 pandemic

St. David’s Emergency Center locations in Bee Cave and Cedar Park temporarily closed April 1.

Williamson County will not release nonviolent inmates to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19 as neighboring counties have suggested. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County will not release inmates as neighboring counties have suggested

The county's current jail population is 374, officials said.

Austin and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
5 recent coronavirus stories from the Austin area readers should know

Read local updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin FC and Upper Ninety on March 30 released a guide of resources for local families. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin FC, Upper Ninety compile bilingual resource guide for Austin families

Austin FC and Upper Ninety on March 30 released a guide of resources for local families.

Hutto City Council unanimously voted April 2 in favor of selecting Eide Bailly LLP as the firm to conduct the city's upcoming forensic audit.  (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hutto City Council selects firm for upcoming city forensic audit

Hutto City Council unanimously voted April 2 in favor of selecting Eide Bailly LLP as the firm to conduct the city's upcoming forensic audit.

Friday's digital telethon will help Austin metro residents through nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations to All Together ATX will help local residents through grants to nonprofits

Friday's digital telethon seeks donations to help the community