Friday, February 11, 2011
I-35 closed in Austin this weekend
We tell you this in case you're traveling south from Dallas. You can use the toll roads for free until 6 p.m. Sunday.
AUSTIN The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will waive the tolls on SH 130, SH 45 Southeast, and a portion of SH 45 North this weekend. No tolls will be collected on these roads from 9 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Sunday while Interstate 35 is closed for construction at Ben White Freeway. Both north and southbound lanes will be shut down for the construction of a new direct connect ramp between the two highways.
“The full closure of an interstate highway, even on a weekend, is a significant event,” said TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz. “We hope that by waiving these tolls, drivers will be encouraged to use an alternate route around the construction area. This should go a long way toward alleviating congestion in South Austin over the weekend,” Saenz added.
The closures are associated with TxDOT’s $26-million project to add four new direct-connection ramps to the interchange and are required while placing steel beams over the interstate’s main lanes. These beams will provide support for the deck of the direct connector from westbound US 290 to the southbound interstate. When the project is completed, two ramps will connect east and westbound Ben White Freeway to southbound Interstate 35; two additional ramps will connect northbound interstate traffic with east and westbound Ben White.
During the closures, two lanes in each direction will be maintained through the ramps and on the access roads. One access road lane will be utilized for local traffic. Intersections will be closed to crossing traffic, and main lane traffic will be continuous. More details are available here.
At least one additional weekend closure will be needed to perform similar operations for the northbound I-35 to westbound US 290 direct connector. Although the construction schedule calls for substantial completion this September, the project is well ahead of schedule.