September 1, 2016
Contact: Dee Anne Heath
Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
(512) 996-9778 (office)
(512) 565-6247 (mobile)
Mobility Authority to Complete Interim Improvement Project at US 290 / SH 130 Intersection Early September
Interim improvements at key intersection will improve safety
and operations for drivers
(Austin, Texas)â€”The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) today announced that safety and operational improvements at the US 290 / SH 130 intersection are in the final configuration and will be complete and open to traffic in early September. Construction of the $2 million project began in spring 2016 as an interim solution to the safety and mobility challenges for southbound SH 130 drivers heading westbound on 290 Toll during the morning rush hour. The project is currently in the final configuration and drivers are adjusting to changes in traffic patterns. Crews will perform final paving and finish constructing the permanent barrier by early September.
Following the 2014 opening of the 6.2-mile 290 East Toll Road in northeast Austin, demand for the roadway surpassed projections, leading to increased peak hour traffic congestion at the intersection of 290 Toll and SH 130. Drivers experienced increased wait times at the traffic light at that intersection. In addition, those traveling southbound on SH 130 trying to access the 290 Toll onramp towards Austin were forced to compete with through-traffic on the US 290 frontage road.
The optimum long term solution to this problem is to provide a safe and efficient link from SH 130 to 290 Toll. The Mobility Authority is developing plans and exploring funding options to construct a direct connector bridge from southbound SH 130 to westbound 290 Toll. However, as an interim solution, the Mobility Authority implemented the current interim improvements to increase safety in the short term.
â€œHigh demand has led to traffic congestion at the intersection of US 290 and SH 130, particularly during peak hours,â€ said Mike Heiligenstein, executive director for the Mobility Authority. â€œThis interim project will ease commuting pain while we develop a more permanent mobility solution for drivers.â€
The improved intersection now includes a wider SH 130 southbound frontage road at US 290, with dual right turn lanes onto the US 290 westbound frontage road. An additional lane has been added on the westbound onramp to 290 Toll with and a permanent barrier is being erected along the dedicated right turn lane from the southbound SH 130 frontage road leading to the westbound US 290 frontage road. This barrier will prevent unsafe weaving movements that often occur during heavy traffic on the frontage road.
Drivers at this intersection will need to make some slight adjustment to their commute. There are two options for SH 130 drivers headed for the westbound 290 Toll lanes:
OPTION 1: Take the SH 130 southbound frontage road to the US 290 westbound frontage road. Then, take one of the dual right-turn lanes to the US 290 westbound frontage road. While driving on the frontage road, merge left and take the two-lane on-ramp to access the westbound 290 Toll lanes.
OPTION 2: Take the SH 130 southbound frontage road. Then, take the existing dedicated right-turn lane that is located just north of the intersection of SH 130 and US 290 frontage road. This dedicated right-turn lane will be separated from the US 290 westbound frontage road with a raised median to prevent access to the nearby 290 Toll westbound on-ramp and protect drivers from unsafe weaving conditions caused by peak hour traffic on the frontage road. Drivers can continue on the US 290 frontage and take the on-ramp to 290 Toll past the Harris Branch Parkway intersection. This route will take approximately as long as waiting at the signal at SH 130 and US 290.
About the Mobility Authority
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created in 2002 to improve the regional transportation system in Travis and Williamson Counties. The Mobility Authority implements innovative and sustainable transportation options to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in Central Texas. The Mobility Authority operates 183A in Williamson County and 290 Toll in east Austin. The agency is also constructing Express Lanes on the MoPac Expressway and an 8-mile facility on US 183 in east Austin. For more information about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.
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