Design-build contract awarded for new lanes and improvements on SH 71 near airport
AUSTIN — Motorists traveling SH 71 near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) will soon have the option of a quicker commute. The Texas Transportation Commission selected McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and awarded a design-build contract to develop, design and construct improvements along SH 71 from Presidential Boulevard to east of SH 130 in Travis County.
“This is a major step in relieving traffic and improving safety on a heavily-traveled roadway in east Austin,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “We look forward to working with private industry and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority to provide a high-quality project at the greatest value to commuters.”
“These improvements will allow drivers from Bastrop County to avoid the congestion around the SH 130 interchange as they head to and from Austin,” said Sen. Kirk Watson. “And it will enable drivers from western Travis County to travel uninterrupted from MoPac beyond the airport and SH 130. We’re making good progress on addressing bottlenecks around the region.”
On average, Central Texans spend about 2,500 hours a day sitting in traffic and at red lights along SH 71 near ABIA. The $149 million SH 71 Express Project, funded through a variety of sources, including state, federal and an upfront payment from the developer of SH 130 segments 5 and 6, will consist of improvements to the existing roadway and an additional toll lane in both directions to alleviate congestion and improve safety.
Once completed, the project will offer drivers the choice of using new toll lanes to bypass traffic lights at FM 973 and SH 130, or use the six non-toll through lanes and continue driving through the same number of signalized intersections currently in operation. Work is expected to begin this fall and be completed in late 2016.
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 12,000 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 TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.