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TxDOT windfall includes $620 million for four Austin highways


Funding approved Tuesday by a state board includes $204 million for Loop 360 overpasses to bypass stoplights.

The money approved in TxDOT’s 10-year plan would fund two I-35 projects and added lanes on U.S. 183.

Four key Austin highway projects will get $620 million as part of a $9 billion program approved Tuesday by the Texas Transportation Commission.

The commission unanimously approved amendments to its $70 billion, 10-year transportation plan, which has almost doubled in the past year because of new funding approved by the Legislature and by voters in 2015.

Those Austin projects include $204 million in state funds to build several overpasses along Loop 360 from Westlake Drive north, allowing motorists to bypass traffic lights. That project, not likely to begin for at least two years, will be augmented by $46 million from the city of Austin, as part of the transportation bond that city voters approved in November.

The commission, as part of its $2.5 billion “clear lanes” initiative to address urban road congestion, also approved:

• $162.3 million to make overpass, ramp, pavement and other improvements on Interstate 35 between Holly Street and Oltorf Street. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.

• $133.3 million to add flyover bridges and make other improvement at and near where U.S. 183 and I-35 meet in North Austin. This work could begin later this year.

• $120 million for added free lanes on sections of U.S. 183 between MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and RM 620. These lanes would be added as part of a larger project to build toll lanes in the median of U.S. 183, which would include considerable funding from several revenue bonds backed by toll revenue. This project is scheduled to kick off in 2019.

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