Central Texas is set to see over $1.3 billion in Texas highway money in the next decade, mostly on IH 35, Loop 360, and Texas 71, the Austin American Statesman reports.
The Texas Department of Transportation has gotten a cash infusion from two amendments to the Texas Constitution which set aside state sales taxes, in addition to oil and gas taxes, for highway spending. The legislature also halted the practice of spending gasoline tax money in other ways and put the entirety towards TxDOT.
In all, that gives TxDOT about $48.6 billion in additional money over the next 10 years.
At US 183 and I-35, $119.5 million will be spent on flyover bridges and $159 million will be spent on many projects on I-35 between Holly street and Oltorf street.
$102 million will be used to put overpasses on Texas 71 between Austin and Bastrop at five intersections. Combined with other projects, this means that in a few years, you could drive Texas 71 from MoPac in South Austin to Interstate 10 in Columbus without encountering a traffic light.
Most of Loop 360/Capitol of Texas Highway, would also become free of stoplights. Overpasses would be built at nine locations along the road and would only have lights at MoPac to the south and U.S. 183 to the north. The cost would be $204 million from TxDOT and $46 million from the Austin bond proposal that was approved in November.
TxDOT said they contributed such a large sum because of the city’s bond that showed a commitment to getting the projects done.
Although the CAMPO planning reports show that the Loop 360 work wouldn’t start until 2024, TxDOT’s district engineer for the Austin office said that the pieces of the project can begin as soon as they are designed and get environmental approval.
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