Expressway News from the Mobility Auhority

Expressway News

August 16, 2016

OPENING THIS MONTH: Safety and mobility improvements at US 290/SH 130

Interim improvement project at key intersection WILL ease commuting pain for drivers

Drivers at the US 290/SH 130 intersection can soon look forward to a smoother, safer commute. The Mobility Authority is in the final stages of completing safety and operational improvements at this key intersection to ease commuting pain for the traveling public. Construction of the $2 million project kicked off this spring as an interim solution to the safety and mobility challenges facing southbound SH 130 drivers heading westbound on 290 Toll during the morning rush hour. Completion is anticipated later in August.
Central Texas drivers demand mobility options
When the Mobility Authority opened the 6.2-mile 290 Toll Road in 2014, the number of commuters that recognized the convenience of the new roadway surpassed our projections. And, while it’s great that Central Texas commuters are embracing the option to bypass congestion, the high demand led to traffic congestion at the intersection of 290 Toll and SH 130, particularly during peak hours.
Mobility and safety became compromised during the morning rush hour for southbound SH 130 drivers trying to head westbound on 290 Toll. Wait times at the traffic signal increased considerably, and southbound SH 130 drivers trying to access the 290 Toll onramp were forced to compete with through-traffic on the US 290 frontage road.

Solutions for today, and for tomorrow
For the Mobility Authority, safety and mobility are simultaneous, priority goals. We recognized that the optimum solution to this problem was to provide a safe and efficient link from SH 130 to 290 Toll. That’s why we plan to construct a direct connector bridge from southbound SH 130 to westbound 290 Toll. As we develop plans and explore funding options to give drivers the benefit of that free-flowing direct connection, we implemented the current interim improvements to ease commuting pain, enhance safety and curtail backups in the short term.
Added capacity, enhanced safety
The new and improved intersection will soon feature a wider SH 130 southbound frontage road at US 290, and the new dual right turn lanes onto the US 290 westbound frontage road have already opened to traffic. Drivers will also notice that an additional lane is being added on the westbound onramp to 290 Toll. In addition to the benefit of added capacity to move more drivers efficiently through the intersection, we’re taking safety measures to prevent unsafe weaving movements that often occur during heavy traffic on the frontage road. To achieve this, we’re erecting a barrier along the dedicated right turn lane from the southbound SH 130 frontage road leading directly to the westbound US 290 frontage road.

Navigating the new and improved intersection
The upcoming completion of these safety and operational improvements means drivers will need to make some minor adjustments to their commute. But we know you’ll welcome the positive changes: less congestion and a more relaxed – and safer – commute. When the project is complete later in August, there will be 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 roads. 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.

To download a fact sheet on the interim intersection improvement project as well as the long term plan to construct direct connector bridges from southbound SH 130 to westbound 290 Toll, click here.


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