What you need to know as work begins on U.S. 183 South tollway


Work begins this week in East Austin on a major expansion of eight miles of U.S. 183, a four-lane highway built in the 1960s (and dubbed Ed Bluestein Boulevard) that has five traffic lights and severe rush hour traffic congestion. Here are five things to know about the project:

1. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is building a six-lane tollway from south of U.S. 290 to Texas 71 south of the river at a cost of $743 million, not counting financing expenses. There will also be two to three free frontage lanes on each side, each with bike lanes and sidewalks, replacing the current free road. A consortium led by Fluor Corp. has the design and construction contract.

2. Lane closures during construction will generally be limited to overnight hours, starting at 8 p.m. and ending by 6 a.m., except on weekends when the closures could last until 10 a.m. The contractor will likely build new frontage roads first, transfer traffic to them, and then build the toll lanes in the center.

3. Construction will take 4½ years, ending in 2020. But a first phase on the north end, from U.S. 290 to Techni Center Drive, should open in 2019.

4. The project will eliminate five places where people can cross U.S. 183: at East 51st Street, Techni Center Drive, Bolm Road, Vargas Road and Thompson Lane. Drivers looking to get to the other side will have to turn right and use U-turn drives under nearby underpasses. But the project will also eliminate three of those five traffic lights.

5. Driving the full tollway would cost less than $3 in tolls at the beginning, officials say.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

ATX Television Festival launches ‘The TV Campfire’ podcast
ATX Television Festival launches ‘The TV Campfire’ podcast

ATX Television Festival premiered its inaugural podcast series, The TV Campfire, as a part of its ATX TV Podcast Network. The series is co-produced by Madica Productions and provides an insider's perspective into the world of television with special guests including “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” producer Bill Lawrence, “Wire&rdquo...
Community news: Austin joins global affordability group

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN City joins global affordability group Representatives from the city of Austin’s Economic Development Department will join cultural leaders from around the world to explore and address challenges of urban affordability facing creative communities. The first-ever Leadership Exchange Program, an initiative of the World Cities...
TV REPORT: Sutherland Springs shooter describes domestic abuse in 2012 video
TV REPORT: Sutherland Springs shooter describes domestic abuse in 2012 video

Five years before Devin Kelley walked into a Sunday morning worship service in Sutherland Springs and killed more than two dozen people, he recorded a video in which he describes being bullied, suicidal and having trouble with self-control. The video, obtained by WOAI-TV News 4 in San Antonio, was recorded in November 2012, when Kelley had...
NEW: 2 Austin charter school students arrested after having gun on campus
NEW: 2 Austin charter school students arrested after having gun on campus

Two Austin charter school students were arrested on Tuesday — one after bringing a gun to campus and the other after he was found holding it for him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County. Anibal Escobar Mejia, 17, and a juvenile, who was not named by authorities because he is a minor, have been charged with possessing a weapon...
Celebrate Toilet Seat Art Museum book and 97-year-old artist on Saturday
Celebrate Toilet Seat Art Museum book and 97-year-old artist on Saturday

When Statesman columnist John Kelso stopped by the Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio twenty years ago, he gawked at 500 toilet seat lids and quizzed the artist on inspiration and technique. But he also talked to Barney’s wife. Louise Smith, he wrote, doesn't mind her husband's hobby so long as it doesn't grow any larger. “He's supposed...
More Stories