Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation along with state and local officials gathered Wednesday, June 1, at Riverbend Church to kick off the project.
The project will remove traffic signals and add underpasses at the intersections on Loop 360 at Westlake Drive and Cedar Street, according to a release from the department.
A nonsignalized U-turn will also be added at Westlake Drive. New northbound and southbound frontage roads and shared-use paths will also be constructed along the corridor, according to the release.
The work will be done is five phases: Phase 1entails setting up a work zone; Phase 2 entails constructing new northbound and southbound connector roads; Phase 3 entails constructing the Westlake Drive bridge; Phase 4 entails constructing the Cedar Street bridge and underpass, and widening northbound and southbound Loop 360 main lanes; and Phase 5 entails performing final paving a striping.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said, thanks to projects like this that are being funded by the 2016 mobility bond, the city is now in a “golden age of mobility.”
“This is a project people are going to feel,” he said. “I’m really proud to be joining with our champions and advocates in the county and state.”
Adler said without such a large bond, projects on the outskirts of Austin would never have been possible.
He said the $720 million approved by the voters in 2016 is more than all of the bonds approved in the previous 20 years leading up to 2016, which added up to about $630 million.
Austin Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter said she is excited about the project’s design and multimodality.
“The design that the city and TxDOT have decided to invest in is really going to transform this area,” she said. “It will really increase mobility, and it’s also going to allow for a lot of pedestrian improvements.”
Alter also said she is also excited about future intersections along Loop 360 that will also be improved, mentioning Courtyard Drive, just north of the Pennybacker Bridge.
The $72.1 million project is funded by TxDOT and the city of Austin’s 2016 mobility bond with about $14 million coming from the bond, according to Adler.
Construction begins this month and is expected to be completed by mid-2025.