Five transportation updates to know in Central Austin this month

1.I-35 construction from Rundberg Lane to US 290 East

This Texas Department of Transportation project includes road reconstruction and the addition of three new flyovers at US 183 along I-35 between Rundberg Lane and US 290 East. The St. Johns Avenue bridge over the I-35 main lanes reopened to traffic Aug. 27. The project includes U-turn bridges in both directions. Construction continues on the north-to-south U-turn bridge at the St. Johns Avenue intersection. The south-to-north bridge is being used temporarily as a bike and pedestrian path to allow non-vehicle traffic to cross I-35 at St. Johns. Construction of flyovers at US 183 is progressing. The I-35 southbound to US 183 southbound flyover and the I-35 southbound to US 183 northbound flyover are expected to be completed by winter 2019-20, weather permitting. The US 183 northbound to I-35 northbound flyover is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Timeline: 2018-21
Cost: $124.2 million
Funding sources: TxDOT

2.183 South project

The largest ongoing project in the area will add a three-lane tolled expressway and improvements to the non-tolled lanes on US 183 between US 290 and SH 71. In August, the north portion of the toll road opened to traffic from US 290 to Techni Center Drive. This fall, westbound traffic on SH 71 will be temporarily shifted onto a new bridge over US 183 in order to allow an existing bridge can be demolished and replaced. Meanwhile, the new US 183 frontage roads between Techni Center Drive and Bolm Road should open to traffic. Through approximately the end of October, northbound US 183 at SH 71will close after 7 p.m. to allow crews to move a dirt stockpile north to Patton Avenue where a new bridge is being constructed to carry 183 traffic over Patton. Northbound US 183 traffic is being detoured on eastbound SH 71 to the  turnaround at Spirit of Texas Drive to reach northbound US 183 during the closures.
Timeline: 2016-20
Cost: $743 million
Funding sources: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority toll revenue bonds, federal loans, TxDOT loans

3. 45th Street and Bull Creek Road intersection improvements

The Grove, a 75-acre, mixed-use development under construction in North Central Austin, began a major intersection improvement project in August. It includes new dedicated left-turn lanes along 45th Street in both directions; a second turn lane for vehicles turning left from Bull Creek Road onto 45th Street; radar signal technology, which will detect approaching vehicles and adjust signal timing; a protected bike lane along Bull Creek; a 12-foot-wide, multi-use path for pedestrians; and a Capital Metro bus stop near the intersection of 45th Street and Bull Creek Road. Periodic—and possibly daily—lane closures are expected.
Timeline: August-May
Cost: “Several million dollars,” per a spokesperson behind The Grove private development
Funding sources: The Grove

4. Capitol Complex Master Plan

This project will construct a tree-lined pedestrian mall and two state office buildings on Congress Avenue north of the Capitol building. Work on the foundation at A. 1801 Congress Ave., across the street from the Bullock Museum, is on schedule. Excavation at B.1601 Congress Ave. is almost complete. Utility work continues on surrounding streets, including Colorado, 15th and 17th. On Aug. 21, the city’s transportation department converted C.16th Street between San Antonio and Colorado streets from a one-way to a two-way traffic pattern, with the goal of improving mobility around the Capitol complex.
Timeline: 2018-22
Cost: $581 million (Phase 1)
Funding sources: Texas Facilities Commission

5. Downtown metro station renovation

This Capital Metro project is intended to boost the frequency and capacity of the regional transit agency’s MetroRail line and to make connections easier between MetroRail and other forms of public transit. In June, the station closed and is scheduled to remain so through the end of 2019. Service stops at the Plaza Saltillo station and a shuttle bus is available for riders going downtown. In early September, construction on the station led to road closures on A.Fourth Street between Red River and the I-35 frontage road as well as on
B. Red River Street between Fifth and Third streets. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway on Fourth Street remains accessible to cyclists and scooter riders in the interim, but has temporarily shifted lanes to the north side of Fourth Street between Red River and Sabine streets.
Timeline: 2019-21
Cost: $30.7 million
Funding sources: TxDOT grant, city of Austin, Capital Metro


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