AUSTIN, Texas — The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has reached a milestone in its 183 South Project, as it is now opening Phase 1, or the north end, of the project this week.
This phased opening will give drivers an option to use the new 183 Toll Road and bypass the traffic lights between US 290 and Techni Center Driver. Those who prefer not to pay the toll will have the choice to use the non-tolled general-purpose lanes.
To help ease traffic, the new tolled lanes will open overnight, with the northbound side opening the night of July 30 and the southbound side on the night of July 31.
Through Aug. 31, drivers with an electronic tag will not be charged to travel on the toll road. The CTRMA accepts the following tags: TxTag, TollTag, EZ-Tag, K-TAG, Pikepass or BancPass. For more information on electronic tag options, click here.
Because the 183 Toll Road uses all-electronic tolling, drivers will not have to stop or slow down to pay the toll. The toll charge for tag customers making a full-length trip is $1.21.
After the introductory free period is over, drivers using any of the tags above will receive a 33% discount on their tolls. Those without a tag will get their bills through the CTRMA's Pay By Mail program, which includes a $1 statement processing free.
Because this is a phased opening, the CTRMA said not all elements will be completed right away and some lane closures are to be expected, especially during overnight hours as crews continue to complete intersection crossings and pedestrian amenities.
Travelers can expect congestion and delays until the full project is completed, especially southbound where the new lanes connect with the existing roadway near Techni Center Drive. The full project is on track to be completed by late 2020.
The CTRMA also provided the following important facts about the Phase 1 opening:
- The shared-use path between MLK Jr. Boulevard and US 290 will be fully open when the new toll road opens. However, the pedestrian bridges at Manor Road and 51st Street are anticipated to open late summer/fall.
- When the northbound 183 Toll Road opens, the temporary traffic signal at Techni Center Drive will be removed. Drivers heading north will stay in the left or center lanes just north of Techni Center Drive if they wish to enter the new 183 Toll Road. Drivers wishing to use the non-tolled general-purpose lanes or the MLK Jr. Boulevard exit should use the center or right lane.
- The Loyola Lane crossing of US 183, which was closed for reconstruction about a year-and-a-half ago, will reopen to traffic shortly after the opening of the new toll road. Drivers on the non-tolled US 183 general-purpose lanes should be prepared to stop at Loyola Lane, as the traffic signal will be turned back on. This will provide drivers with restored east-west connectivity across US 183, but may result in some travel delays. Pedestrian crossing access at this location will be restored soon afterward.
- Southbound drivers who prefer not to use the toll road should use the last free exit, located just past Manor/Springdale Road, with signs marked for Loyola Lane.
- The southbound bypass at FM 969 (MLK Jr. Boulevard) that allows drivers to avoid the signalized intersection without entering the tolled lanes, will be reduced from two lanes to one. This is necessary to facilitate a safe and smooth transition from the Phase I/North End improvements to the original two-lane roadway south of Techni Center Drive. Additional roadway capacity will be added in phases south of Techni Center Drive as the project moves toward final completion in 2020.
For more information, click here.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: