Last-minute fixes to 51st Street roundabout to cause weekend closures


Looking to go to East 51st Street and Interstate 35’s southbound frontage road in the next couple of days?

Don’t.

Road crews, beginning late Thursday evening, will be rushing to open a roundabout that the Texas Department of Transportation is installing where that frontage road meets 51st, and the rolling closures through early Sunday will make it impassible for some trips.

Beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, the southbound frontage road will be closed as it approaches 51st, and 51st likewise will be closed at the frontage road. The only movement possible at that point will be for those driving west on East 51st over the I-35 overpass, and those drivers will be forced to turn south on the frontage road.

Then, beginning about 10 a.m. Friday, people going westbound on 51st will be allowed to keep going west, but will lose that possible left turn onto the frontage road. Eastbound 51st will remain close at the frontage road during Friday and Saturday.

If all goes as planned — crews in several spots will have to lay down more than two feet of asphalt to fill in current gaps in the roundabout — a one-lane, very rough version of the full roundabout will open by 5 a.m. Sunday, TxDOT says. The traffic circle, in a decidedly unfinished form, will replace the traffic lights that have controlled that intersection for decades.

“If you don’t absolutely need to go through that area for the next few days, it might be best to avoid it,” said Diann Hodges, a spokeswoman for TxDOT’s Austin district.

The overall $16.5 million project, which includes construction of a southbound bypass under the 51st Street overpass and other changes to the frontage road, should be done by late spring, Hodges said. Between now and then, Hodges said, a second lane will be added to the roundabout and the center of it will be landscaped.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Dog adoption spurs suspensions, outcry at Austin Animal Center
Dog adoption spurs suspensions, outcry at Austin Animal Center

The dog-walking volunteers who took to Facebook were furious. Austin Animal Center had proceeded with an adoption they tried to stop — of a dog closely bonded to another one left behind and delivered to a man they distrusted based on a passing conversation — and they weren’t going to let it go. A volunteer told the others of the adoption...
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says

EAST AUSTIN EMS: Man dead, child critically injured in crash A man in his 20s died and a child was left with life-threatening injuries after a crash on FM 969 on Saturday morning, Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS said. Authorities were called to the scene at 9:43 a.m. The accident took place on East Martin Luther King Boulevard, just...
Texas Digest: Pagourtzis’ parents sued over school shooting
Texas Digest: Pagourtzis’ parents sued over school shooting

SANTA FE School shooter’s parents sued The family of one of the students killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting filed a lawsuit against the parents of the student who admitted he was the gunman, claiming his father didn’t properly secure the weapons and the parents were negligent in entrusting him with firearms. Authorities charged...
HOLIDAY WEEKEND HEAT: Greenbelt hiker taken to hospital
HOLIDAY WEEKEND HEAT: Greenbelt hiker taken to hospital

Rescuers pulled a hiker in his 50s out of Barton Creek Greenbelt on Saturday after he came down with a heat-related illness, according to Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS. The hiker, who was taken to Seton Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, was extricated from a small side trail in the Greenbelt using a “big wheel...
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says

A man in his 20s died and a child was left with life-threatening injuries after a crash on FM 969 on Saturday morning, Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS said. Authorities were called to the scene at 9:43 a.m. The accident took place on East Martin Luther King Boulevard, just west of Decker Lane. The child with the critical injuries...
More Stories