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Expressway News

August 14, 2020


Celebrating with forward progress on Phase II

The 183 South Project – a massive expansion of US 183 – adds additional capacity and roadway enhancements to US 183 for the first time since the 1970s, allowing for one of our region’s most critical connections to serve more residents and commuters than ever before.

With three tolled-lanes in each direction, major improvements to the non-tolled general-purpose lanes, miles of new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and shared use path, the project thoroughly encapsulates the Mobility Authority’s unyielding commitment to advancing accessible and reliable connections across the Central Texas region.

This month marks one year since the opening of Phase I, or the North End, of the 183 South Project which stretches from US 290 to Techni Center Drive. In addition to much-needed roadway improvements for non-tolled drivers on the general-purpose lanes, this completed work provides drivers the option to use the new 183 Toll Road and bypass traffic signals.

New pedestrian bridges at Springdale Road and 51st Street ensure safe pedestrian crossing and shared use paths alongside the corridor connect to the City of Austin’s existing hike and bike trails system.

It seemed only fitting that in recognition of this project milestone anniversary, the project team did what it does best – push forward on construction of Phase II.

Anticipated to open early 2021, Phase II will include completion of the 183 Toll Road from Techni Center Drive southward to SH 71.



We’re all trying to picture what our world will look like post-pandemic, drawing on speculations about telecommuting, online retail, and economic resiliency. It begs the question: is there a realistic view of what our mobility future looks like post-COVID? 

As the agency responsible for delivering mobility solutions that enhance our region’s quality of life and economic vitality, the Mobility Authority is attempting to answer this question as best we can through diligent research, data review, and community surveying.

But as we attempt to make sense of the unknown, the Mobility Authority continues to push forward on existing projects – operating not on speculations, but on what we know to be true:

We know that growth in Central Texas continues to climb.

  • The City of Austin is expected to become the 10th most populous city in the United States this year, according to U.S. census data. (KVUE, 07/08/2020)
  • Combined with the surrounding fast-growing suburbs, the population of the metro area is projected to nearly double, landing somewhere between 3.6 Million and 3.9 Million, by 2040. (KVUE, 05/21/2020)
  • Rebounding home sales in June and July have more than made up for the initial Coronavirus slump in May and the metro-suburbs are reporting double-digit percentage increases. (KVUE, 07/14/2020)

These growth and traffic projections are always considered as part of any project’s environmental study and feasibility assessment - and remain reliable insights into how projects will fare into the future.

We know that significant development is planned or is in progress along/near project corridors.

  • Developers unveiled a plan in June for Velocity, a more than 5.5 million square foot development of apartments, offices, retail, hotels and light industrial space is set to break ground just east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport early next year. (Austin American-Statesman, 06/15/2020)
  • Apple broke ground on its new $1 billion campus in Northwest Austin last November but just last April, a revised site plan was approved by the City of Austin which includes a new 6-story, 75,500 square-foot hotel. (Community Impact News, 05/21/20)
  • In Leander, development of a roughly 29-acre property fronting 183A will bring both commercial development and multi-family units. (Community Impact News, 02/06/2020)
  • The electric car manufacturer Tesla will construct a $1.1 billion factory on a 2,100-acre site off SH 130 just north of SH 71 near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The plant will employ 5,000 people and is expected to bring substantial development (Austin American-Statesman 7/22/20) 

Continued development will add substantially to the traffic burden along Central Texas roadways, even if we do see changes in commuting habits.

Our projects are designed to meet the needs of all users.

Expanding upon the region’s trail network, shared use paths are included in all our projects where feasible. To date, we have more than 70 miles of shared use paths planned or in place.  The 183 South Project, in particular, includes a $25 million investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities along the entire length of the project, providing safe and accessible routes for all - not just those in vehicles. The facilities include new pedestrian bridges, bike lanes, and a 10-foot-wide shared use path along the 8-mile corridor.

Despite the impacts of COVID, the Mobility Authority designs and delivers projects to address the needs of our Central Texas community now and into the future – even an uncertain future.

Questions or concerns about your Pay By Mail Bill? 

You can contact us at (512) 996-9778 or visit our website.  


Despite fewer cars on the road these days, the shutdown has correlated with a surge in speeding and reckless driving behavior reported around the United States.

In San Antonio, a car dealership surveyed 2,000 Texas drivers with 10 percent admitting to breaking more traffic laws now as opposed to before the COVID-19 lockdown. And in the Houston area, though the total number of issued speed-related citations decreased since early-March, the speeds at which these drivers were caught increased significantly. In March and April, the number of drivers cited for traveling 100 miles per hour or more jumped more than roughly 40 percent than compared to February. In addition, forty-six of those drivers were caught traveling more than 50 miles per hour above the speed limit. 

Crash data from the Texas Department of Transportation confirms these observations. The number of speed-related fatal crashes occurring during the period of March 12 – May 30 increased more than during the same period in 2019, despite the reduction in roadway traffic and accidents.

The City of Austin Transportation Department recently unveiled a new online tool for the public to track the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths – so that we can all work together towards vision zero.

If you’re hitting the road, follow these tips to keep you and fellow drivers safe:

  • Obey the Speed Limit. Make sure you keep an eye on the posted speed limit and don’t rush. Speeding will not substantially decrease the time it takes to reach your destination during most short trips, but it can significantly raise accident risk.
  • Reduce Distractions. That text, call, song, or breakfast taco can wait until you get to your destination.
  • Avoid erratic or aggressive driving behavior. This includes swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, accelerating and braking suddenly. Rapidly switching lanes to try to get ahead of the traffic is very dangerous as other drivers can't predict what you're going to do.
  • Keep Calm. Rising tension and anger can often cause drivers to behave in ways they would not ordinarily consider. When you find yourself annoyed or irritated on the road, take steps to calm yourself down so that you can reach your destination safely.
  • Avoid Reckless Drivers. You cannot stop the driver from behaving recklessly, nor should you use your vehicle to attempt to control the other driver’s behaviors. Get out of the way or find a safe spot to pull off the road, if needed. Allow for distance to get between you and the reckless driver.
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