Earlier this year, the Mobility Authority’s Board of Directors and staff, along with Texas Department of Transportation officials, celebrated the start of construction of the 290/130 Flyovers Project in east Austin.
Anticipated completion of the $127 million project is late 2021.
A symbolic merging of dirt collected from each roadway highlighted the celebration and sealed the partnership which includes constructing one non-tolled and two tolled flyovers at the interchange of the Mobility Authority’s 290 Toll and TxDOT’s SH 130.
The project became necessary because of the high demand for the 290 Toll Road, which led to congestion at the frontage road intersection with SH 130. As noted by Ray Wilkerson, Chairman of the Mobility Authority Board of Directors, transactions on 290 Toll are growing at a rate of 10-to-15 percent per year.
“In order to keep Central Texans moving, commuters need a safe and efficient link between the two roadways,” he said.
Former Mobility Authority Board Member James Mills first observed the congestion issues at the 290 Toll/SH 130 frontage road, especially during the morning rush hour for drivers on southbound SH 130 trying to head west on 290 Toll. He brought this to the attention of the Board of Directors and plans were developed for mobility improvements. In recognition of his advocacy, the north-to-west and south-to-west bridges will be named in his honor.
Demand for SH 130 is also increasing said Terry McCoy, TxDOT Austin District Engineer.
“In addition to expanding capacity on SH 130, providing flyovers will allow drivers to bypass signals from the 290 Toll to SH 130, increasing mobility and safety. We are proud to collaborate with the Mobility Authority to bring this project to fruition,” he said.
McCoy also announced, at the January Board of Directors meeting, that TxDOT has broken ground on a project to add a third lane in each direction to SH 130 between SH 71 and SH 45N, which will further improve mobility for those traveling between SH 130 and 290 Toll.
Mobility Authority and TxDOT officials say that the 290/130 Flyovers will benefit drivers by:
- Reducing potential for high-speed rear-end collisions on SH 130;
- Eliminating queuing of vehicles on the southbound and northbound mainlanes of SH 130;
- Saving about $5 million a year for the traveling public in time as well as fuel and vehicle costs;
- Attracting more than 5,000 vehicles per day from parallel roadways, thereby providing additional congestion relief to other corridors;
- Increasing the average speed by up to 40 miles per hour;
- Shifting approximately 67 percent of vehicles off the southbound SH 130 frontage road and onto the new flyover ramp to westbound 290 Toll;
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,020 metric tons annually; and
- Attracting economic development opportunities to the region by way of enhanced local and regional connectivity.