11 road construction projects underway in the Austin region

Road work continues throughout the Austin area.

Road work continues throughout the Austin area.

Regional Projects

1. I-35: The Texas Department Transportation broke ground on several projects on I-35 in 2016 as part of its $4 billion Mobility35 program to improve the highway. The state agency plans to complete standalone projects that will make a significant impact on mobility as funding becomes available.

a. 51st Street: TxDOT began construction in September on a roundabout at the southbound I-35 frontage road and East 51st Street intersection. Other improvements in the area include ramp upgrades and adding a southbound intersection bypass lane beneath the 51st Street overpass. On Jan. 8, TxDOT closed the southbound-to-northbound turnaround bridge for reconstruction. The turnaround bridge will reopen in early April. The $16.5 million project will be complete in early 2019.

b. Oltorf Street: The project includes rebuilding the Oltorf Street bridge; improving entrance and exit ramps and frontage roads; extending entrance and exit lanes; and adding northbound and southbound U-turns at Oltorf. Bicycle and pedestrian accommodations will also be improved along the I-35 frontage roads in each direction between Woodland Avenue and Woodward Street. Construction on the $42.6 million project begins in February and will be complete by early 2020. 

c. US 79 to SH 45 N: In July, TxDOT began construction on braided ramps—where one ramp crosses over the other—to remove merging and weaving conflicts on the I-35 northbound main lanes between Hester’s Crossing Road and RM 620. An extended northbound entrance and exit lane will provide drivers with more time to accelerate and merge onto the highway. The northbound ramps between SH 45 N and RM 620 will also be modified. The northbound and southbound frontage road intersections at I-35 and US 79 will also be reconstructed, and a third left-turn lane from westbound US 79 to southbound I-35 will be added. Crews are now building retaining walls and footings for the bridge as well as widening the roadway at I-35 and US 79. The $28.1 million project will be completed in spring 2019.

d. Parmer Lane: The construction of a diverging diamond intersection—in which traffic is temporarily diverted to the left side of the roadway to facilitate better left turns and through traffic—is designed alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection of Parmer Lane and I-35. The project also includes operational improvements at the Lamar Boulevard and Parmer intersection. TxDOT anticipates starting construction on the $25 million project in late 2018.

2. Loop 360: In February 2016, TxDOT began work to add an extended entrance or exit lane to each side of Loop 360 from south of MoPac to north of Walsh Tarlton Lane. The $6.44 million project also includes adding a third left-turn lane from the northbound MoPac frontage road to northbound Loop 360. The new lanes opened in December, but final paving will not be done until this spring. The state agency is planning additional improvements to Loop 360 between MoPac and US 183 to add overpasses and underpasses at major Loop 360 intersections to eliminate traffic signals. Construction on some of those projects is several years out.

3. SH 71 Express: Work is expected to be finished this spring on one new express, or toll, lane on Hwy. 71 from east of Presidential Boulevard near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to east of SH 130. The $139.5 million project also included rebuilding the intersection at FM 973, direct connectors between Hwy. 71 and SH 130, and a 5-mile-long shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists. Construction on the toll bridge over SH 130 is complete, but work continues between Presidential and FM 973.

4. MoPac: The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority opened the first section of the MoPac express toll lane in October between northbound RM 2222 and Parmer. The express lane charges a variable toll based on the amount of traffic in the express and main lanes. The rest of the toll lanes between Parmer and Cesar Chavez Street will open in the first half of 2017. The project cost is $204 million.

5. 183 North: In April, the Mobility Authority received environmental clearance on the $650 million project that would add two express lanes in each direction on US 183 between SH 45 N and MoPac. A fourth nontolled general-purpose lane would also be built to correct an existing lane imbalance where lanes shift between three and four main lanes.

6. 183 South: Construction began in May on the $743 million project, which will include building two to three tolled lanes in each direction on US 183 between Hwy. 290 and SH 71 and also include three nontolled lanes in each direction with bike lanes and a shared-use path. The first phase of the project between Hwy. 290 and Techni Center Drive is anticipated to be finished in 2019 with full completion of the project in 2020.

7. SH 130/Hwy. 290 intersection improvements: The Mobility Authority completed a $2.5 million short-term project in 2016 to aid congestion at the SH 130 and Hwy. 290 interchange. The agency added two signalized right-turn lanes from southbound SH 130 frontage road to the Manor Expressway frontage roads with access to the 290 toll road. The agency is designing three new direct connectors between SH 130 and Hwy. 290 that could begin construction early 2018. The project is estimated to cost $130 million.

8. Toll 183A expansion: Design of the Toll 183A expansion from Hero Way in Leander to Hwy. 29 near Liberty Hill kicked off in late 2016. The Mobility Authority is reviewing phasing options to add tolled lanes to the highway. Construction would take three years and is expected to begin after the design and public input process end around mid-2018. Total project costs are still being finalized.

Local Projects

local projectsRound Rock

9. Creek Bend Extension complete: The project extended Creek Bend Boulevard over Brushy Creek and Hairy Man Road to connect with Brightwater Boulevard at Wyoming Springs Drive. It includes raised medians, sidewalks and bicycle accommodations. The project started in April 2015 and should pull traffic from Sam Bass Road and RM 620, connect north and south Brushy Creek, and provide greater connectivity to the area.
Timeline: April 2015-January 2017


local projects10. FM 685 improvements: FM 685 is receiving a major overhaul in Hutto between SH 130 and Hwy. 79. The road will be widened to accommodate shoulders, left-turn lanes and a median from Hwy. 79 to Riverwalk Drive. Two new bridges 12 feet higher than the original bridges will be built over Brushy Creek to reduce flooding of the roadway. The work is intended to improve traffic flow and safety. Riverwalk is open and traffic is moving on the northbound and southbound sides. Chris Kelley Blvd. signs are replacing FM 685 signs. Weather and other factors have delayed completion.
Timeline: October 2014-March 2017


Local Projects11. Heatherwilde Boulevard widening: This project provides for reconstruction and widening of the two-lane Heatherwilde Boulevard into a four-lane, divided roadway with raised medians, turn lanes, drainage improvements and pedestrian facilities. Work is underway from just north of East Pflugerville Parkway to just south of SH 45 N.
Timeline: February 2016-mid-2017


Local Projects12. Arterial H extension: Williamson County is extending Arterial H to Sam Bass Road. The project includes the design of four lanes for Arterial H, and current construction consists of the northern two lanes.
Timeline: June 2016-early 2017