Mobility Authority Breaks Ground on Project to Connect 290 Toll and SH 130 in East Austin
(Austin, Texas)— At the Jan. 30 meeting of the Board of Directors, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) and the Texas Department of Transportation celebrated the start of construction of the 290/130 Flyovers project in east Austin. The project includes constructing three flyovers at the interchange of the Mobility Authority’s 290 Toll and TxDOT’s SH 130 to link the two toll roads together. The project will also benefit drivers who prefer the non-tolled option by freeing up capacity at the frontage road intersection.
“This project demonstrates that commuters recognize the convenience toll roads provide,” said Ray Wilkerson, Chairman of the Mobility Authority Board of Directors. “We’ve seen how the high demand for 290 Toll has led to congestion at the frontage road intersection with SH 130. In order to keep Central Texans moving, commuters need a safe and efficient link between the two roadways.”
After the Mobility Authority opened 290 Toll in 2014, the number of commuters that recognized the benefits surpassed projections. Transactions on 290 Toll are growing at a rate of 10-to-15 percent per year. It was former Mobility Authority Board Member Jim Mills who 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 on the rise, and TxDOT has begun two widening projects that will add a third lane in each direction from SH 45 N to SH 71.
“As more and more drivers seek alternatives to I-35 and other congested roadways, demand for SH 130 increases,” 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.”
The three flyovers at 290 Toll and SH 130 are being designed and constructed by the Mobility Authority. TxDOT will finance the construction of the flyover between eastbound 290 Toll and southbound SH 130, which will be non-tolled. The Mobility Authority will finance the construction of the flyovers from northbound and southbound SH 130 to westbound 290 Toll, which will be tolled connections, paid for by toll revenue bonds and a federal TIFIA loan. A flyover already exists to link eastbound 290 Toll to northbound SH 130, which will remain non-tolled.
The 290/130 Flyovers will enhance mobility by:
- Reducing potential for high-speed rear-end collisions on SH 130;
- Eliminating queueing 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.
For additional information on the 290/130 Flyovers project, visit www.290Flyovers.com
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 Toll in Williamson County, 290 Toll in east Austin, the 71 Toll Lane in east Austin, and the MoPac Express Lane in Central Austin. The agency is also finishing construction of the eight-mile 183 South Project in east Austin, and the four-mile SH 45SW toll road between FM 1626 and MoPac in southern Travis and northern Hays counties. For more information about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.
About the Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at www.txdot.gov.