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Coming Soon: New Safety and Operational Improvements to 290 Toll

Changes coming to 290Toll/SH 130 Intersection

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 has led to traffic congestion at the intersection of 290 Toll and SH 130, particularly during peak hours.

Mobility and safety are compromised during the morning rush hour for southbound SH 130 drivers trying to head westbound on 290 Toll. Drivers are experiencing long wait times at the traffic lights in that intersection. In addition, those traveling southbound SH 130 who are trying to get to the 290 Toll onramp to head into Austin must compete with through-traffic on the US 290 general purpose lanes.

290130-Map-ForENews

For the Mobility Authority, safety and mobility are simultaneous, priority goals. Something has to be done to curtail the backups at the SH 130 and 290 Toll intersection, and facilitate safety for drivers getting onto the 290 Toll onramp at peak commute times.

 

Solutions for Now, and Later

The optimum solution is one that addresses the underlying problem: the need 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 to give drivers a free-flowing direct connection. While we develop plans and explore funding options for that project, however, we’ve come up with some interim improvements that can ease commuting pain and increase safety in the short term.

This year, you’ll see a wider SH 130 southbound frontage road at US 290 East, with two lanes allowing right turns onto the US 290 westbound frontage road. You’ll also see an additional lane on the westbound onramp to 290 Toll. And, we’re erecting a barrier along the dedicated right turn lane near this intersection from the southbound SH 130 frontage road that leads directly to the westbound 290 Toll frontage road. This will prevent unsafe weaving movements that often occur during heavy traffic on the general purpose lanes.

How to Use the Improvements

Once these interim improvements are complete, you’ll need to make some minor adjustments to your commute. We know you’ll welcome the positive changes: less congestion and a more relaxed – and safer – commute experience.

SH 130 drivers headed for the westbound 290 Toll lanes will have two options:

OPTION 1: Take the SH 130 southbound frontage road to the US 290 westbound frontage road. Then, take one of the two right-turn lanes to the US 290 East 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.

290-130 intersect

A Moving Commuter is a Happy Commuter!

While the improvements are being made, we’ll work to make it your commute as hassle-free as possible. Construction could begin as early as this spring, and depending on Mother Nature’s cooperation, drivers could begin using these new lanes in summer 2016. We’ll keep the commuting public informed, but don’t wait on us if you have something to say or need questions answered. The Mobility Authority has a robust community outreach program and will be communicating with stakeholders about these improvements. If you’d like more information or would like to schedule a meeting to discuss these improvements with us, simply call 512-966-9778 or fill out the form on the “Contact Us” page located here

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