183 South Project: Historic Montopolis Steel Truss Bridge to Close to Vehicular Traffic
Cesar Chavez Street Traffic to Shift onto New Bridge at US 183
(Austin, Texas) – The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) is permanently closing the Montopolis steel truss bridge to vehicular traffic on Monday, Oct. 8, weather permitting. As part of the 183 South project, this historic bridge will ultimately be rehabilitated and preserved for bicycle and pedestrian use as part of an extensive system that will link up with other area trails and parks.
While the bridge will remain open to bicyclists and pedestrians, vehicular traffic coming from Cesar Chavez Street will shift onto a new bridge and access US 183 southbound above the Colorado River. This marks yet another milestone in the construction of a new and improved 183 South Expressway at the Colorado River. The traveling public should take note that drivers will no longer be able to access westbound Montopolis Drive directly from the Montopolis steel truss bridge. Local traffic will detour via US 183 southbound to the Vargas Road/Montopolis Drive detour to access Montopolis Drive.
Constructed in 1938 by Vincennes Steel Corporation, the Montopolis bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. It stands today as an important historic landmark at the forefront of the Montopolis neighborhood’s legacy.
“As Central Texans, we’re proud of the Montopolis Bridge and what it represents for our region,”
said Mike Heiligenstein, executive director for the Mobility Authority. “We know this structure once served as the only connection between the Montopolis neighborhood and our capital city’s downtown core. Preserving its character and historical significance has been our priority from the outset. We are excited that this component of the project will improve safety, mobility and accessibility for Austin residents, travelers, and visitors to the region.”
In the coming months, crews will begin rehabilitating the Montopolis steel truss bridge by abating the old lead paint and adding a fresh new coat of paint (without lead), as well as completing some structural repairs and enhancements. During lead paint abatement, bicycle and pedestrian access interruptions will occur for periods of time to protect the public from exposure.
*Dates are subject to change based on weather and other circumstances.
About 183 South:
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is building a new tolled expressway with three lanes in each direction on an eight-mile section of US 183 between US 290 and SH 71. In addition, the Mobility Authority is reconstructing and improving the non-tolled US 183 general purpose lanes and adding $25 million worth of pedestrian and bicyclist facilities. The project will open in phases between 2019 and 2020, offering greater mobility for all users of the corridor.
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 and the 71 Toll Lane in east Austin, and the MoPac Express Lane in central Austin. The agency is also building 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