Traffic, public transit, congestion, road construction and closures, I-35, MoPac, US 290, US 183, Ben White Blvd, and policy and planning issues related to transportation and mobility in Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson.

View South Congress repaving in a larger map

Update at 12:48 pm: The City of Austin has announced it is delaying a repaving project on S. Congress Ave. by as much as a week. Work crews found problems with water lines feeding into the 12-inch water main that runs under S. Congress Ave, and those must now be repaired. The repaving project was going to cause lane closures, and now repairs to water infrastructure will create some construction slowdowns.

"Right now we're looking at [delays] of anywhere from a couple of days to a week, depending on how long it takes the water utility to complete those repairs," Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley told KUT News.

Harley says the city will revaluate the repaving schedule, and expects to issue a revised timeline later this week.

Earlier: Give yourself a little extra time if you have to drive down S. Congress Ave. between now and mid-July. The City of Austin is re-paving a stretch the road from Riverside Dr. to Oltorf St. Starting today, northbound lanes will be reduced from 8:30 am to 7 pm. Southbound lane closures will be in effect from 7 am until 4 pm.

The city is re-paving the road in portions, starting first with a stretch between Oltorf St. and Annie St. and gradually moving north. The construction will be completed in three phases, as indicated by the different colors on the map.

Photo courtesy of Full Throttle Productions.

A proposed Formula One racetrack southeast of Austin is not a done deal, but that hasn't stopped F1 from helping to fund upgrades to a road that would lead to the track.

Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners voted to accept $375,000 from Circuit of the Americas LLC, to use for improvements to FM 812. Those upgrades would prepare the road for heavier traffic on race days at the as-yet-unbuilt racetrack.

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

We’re still just 25 cents shy of the all-time gas price record for the Austin metro area, but the price for a gallon of regular unleaded dropped nine cents from this time last week.  

The latest fuel price report from AAA Texas says gas is selling for an average $3.72 in the Austin-San Marcos region. That compares with $3.81 last Thursday. The highest recorded average price was $3.975 back in July 2008.

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Interstate 35 is likely to be more congested than usual this weekend because of a flurry of activities at the University of Texas and a construction closure of I-35 at Ben White Blvd.

Not only are there commencement activities at UT Austin this weekend, but there’s also baseball and softball games.

If you’re passing through Kyle next week anytime between 9 pm and 6 am, you may want to give yourself extra time to get to your destination. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says it will be closing Interstate 35 northbound for two days and then closing it southbound for two days after that.  Here is the full schedule.

View Bike to Work Day 2011 in a larger map

People who ride their bikes to work this Friday can take advantage of free food at various locations across town. The City of Austin provided this map of participating locations, but we thought it would be useful to see them on a zoomable Google Map that also allows you to plot your route. 

Click on a location to see if they are open from 7 am to 9 am (marked AM) or from 4 pm to 7 pm (marked PM) or both (marked AM/PM). 

Image courtesy

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $2 billion worth of funding today to expand high-speed intercity rail travel.  $15 million of that is coming to Texas.

Northbound traffic on Interstate 35 around Ben White could be slow this weekend as the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) closes lanes to allow crews to work on a flyover.

Here's the schedule:

10 pm Friday to 4 am Saturday

Get used to seeing these signs if you spend time downtown. The city is temporarily installing 44 of them to direct people to off-street parking. Staff hopes it will help reduce what they call "extraneous traffic circulation." In other words, people circling the block looking for a spot on the street.

View Austin Street Closures - Texas Roundup 2011 in a larger map

The Texas Roundup 5K will close several streets downtown Saturday morning. Check out the map above for details. Blue lines are partial closures. Red lines are full closures. You can a street closure for the exact times, but everything is scheduled to be reopened by 11 a.m.

View Austin Street Closures For Texas Relays 2011 in a larger map

The Texas Relays are not just a serious competition for track and field athletes. The annual event has also become a celebration of southern car culture. All those slabs cruising through downtown can make it very difficult to navigate the area. This year, Austin police say they are taking extra measures to try to mitigate the gridlock.

View Sunday street closures in a larger map

It won't be quite as gridlocked as it was during South by Southwest, but this weekend is filled with events causing road closures in Austin.  In an effort to make it easier for you to understand which streets are closed and when, we've created two Google Maps.  The map above shows street closures on Sunday. The one below shows the street closures on Saturday.

Please zoom in and click on specific closures for more information on the times they are in effect. Red lines indicate full closures. Orange lines indicate partial closures. Blue lines indicate local access only. Green lines show the detour route around the I-35 and Ben White interchange.

Photo by Nathan Bernier

Comfortable shoes and iPad 2s are making way for synthesizers and neck tattoos as South by Southwest shift gears overnight from interactive to music.  The latter brings out much larger crowds, so the city is shutting E. 6th St. at midnight. Right now there are signs warning people to move their vehicles. Check out our Google Map of road closures after the jump.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Construction gates have been removed on a project to renovate the parking lot under Interstate 35 in downtown Austin, allowing people to walk freely on the expanded sidewalks. For the past several months, pedestrians walking under I-35 were restricted to a narrow pathway next to fast moving traffic. That could have created a dangerous situation for the thousands of people descending on the city for SXSW.

Image by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

The Texas Department of Transportation will waive tolls on segments of SH 130 and SH 45 this Saturday, while crews shut down I-35 at the Ben White Freeway (SH-71).

Tolls won't be collected on SH 45 Southeast, SH 130 and a portion of SH 45 North, near Round Rock and Pflugerville between 6:00 a.m. Saturday and 6:00 a.m. Sunday, according to TxDOT spokesman John Hurt. 

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

If you see something that looks like a commuter train wreck in Williamson County tonight, it's only a test.  Capital Metro will conduct an emergency drill involving the MetroRail commuter service starting at 8:00 p.m. this evening somewhere between Leander and Lakeline stations.

View US 290 & I-35 Shutdown Fri-Sun in a larger map

Give yourself extra time this weekend if you plan to drive on Interstate 35 near Ben White. The Texas Department of Transportation is closing a stretch of the highway from Friday night until Monday morning to conduct work on ramps linking I-35 with US 290/SH 71.  Traffic will be diverted along the frontage roads.

The map above shows how traffic will be affected. Red lines are closures. Blue lines are closed to through traffic, important to know if you're trying to plan a route around the traffic mess.

Southbound lanes are scheduled to close around 10 pm on Friday.  Northbound lanes will close at 1 am Friday. Everything is supposed to reopen before 5 am on Monday morning.

Here's a more detailed explanation from the city's website.

Image Courtesy of Solar Images.

Cold weather and power outages could snarl rush hour traffic this afternoon.  Some intersections, like the one at 6th and Lamar, were backed up for blocks because traffic lights went out.  City official recommend driving with caution.

"They're going to come across some signals that are dark," City of Austin Public Works spokesperson Sarah Hartley told KUT News. "Maneuver them the same way they would a four way stop sign. It's going to be just like your good old traffic education that you learned when you got your license. If it's a four-way stop, the people on your right are the first to go and just alternating turns."

As the power gets restored in each intersection, the stoplight initially flashes red before returning to its normal light cycle.

Photo by KUT.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is seeing some flight delays and cancelations in the midst of the arctic weather impacting much of the U.S.  Several flights have been delayed up to several hours, and at least a few departing flights have been canceled. 

Remember to call your airline or check your flights online before you head to the airport.

Image courtesy TxDOT

To ease congestion in Central Texas, the state should switch part of I-35 with SH 130, remove tolls on 130 and add two tolled lanes on I-35. That's the recommendation contained in a report by an advisory panel to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The I-35 Corridor Advisory Committee’s recommendation involves the following actions: