SH 45 SW progress, Slaughter Creek overpass improvements and more transportation updates Southwest Austinites should know about this month

Work continues on SH 45 SW, a 3.6 mile toll road connecting Loop 1 and FM 1626 in Hays County.

Work continues on SH 45 SW, a 3.6 mile toll road connecting Loop 1 and FM 1626 in Hays County.

March transpo big map

  1. The Texas Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and McCarthy Building Companies, opened the SH 71 toll lanes as part of the SH 71 Express Project on Feb. 28. The project improvements include an eastbound and westbound toll lane and the realigning of FM 973 at SH 71, pedestrian and bicycle enhancements, the widening of Presidential Boulevard at SH 71, and maintaining and improving the current number of non-tolled general-purpose lanes. The toll lanes are managed by the Mobility Authority, and the cost is 87 cents. The project was paid for by TxDOT and federal funds.

  2. The Mobility Authority and TxDOT are working with local partners to improve approximately 8 miles of MoPac from Cesar Chavez Street to Slaughter Lane. Work is underway on the environmental review process and updating the environmental document using the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 plan model.

    • Estimated timeline: 2013-TBD

  3. The design phase is complete for the Mobility Authority’s project to build SH 45 SW, a proposed limited-access, four-lane, 3.6-mile toll road connecting Loop 1 to FM 1626 in Hays County. Site work began Nov. 8, and workers recently completed the initial vegetation clearing for the project. 

    • Estimated timeline: November 2016-November 2019 

  4. Letting for construction has been delayed from 2021 until 2028 for TxDOT’s plans to widen Manchaca Road to a five-lane road with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane between Ravenscroft Drive and FM 1626. 

    • Estimated timeline: 2028-TBD 

  5. TxDOT began work May 2 on a project to replace the Slaughter Creek overpass on I-35 and build a new southbound-to-northbound U-turn bridge. The northbound frontage road is almost completed, and the contractor, Capital Excavation, has begun work to construct the retaining walls.

    • Estimated timeline: May 2016-summer 2017 

  6. TxDOT plans to make safety improvements to Fitzhugh Road, including signage, delineation and guardrails, along the Southwest Austin roadway from Hwy. 290 to the Hays County line. The project is slated to go out for contractor bids in August.

    • Estimated timeline: August 2017-fall/winter 2017

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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