Ramp replaces detour on SH 71 to SH 130 near Austin airport

Cars navigate the detour at SH 71 and SH 130. The detour will be in place for two months. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Cars navigate the detour at SH 71 and SH 130. The detour will be in place for two months. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While construction on the expansion of State Highway 71 near SH 130 will continue until early next year, one section is getting a little better for drivers.

On Thursday, the temporary off ramp from the westbound SH 71 overpass at SH 130 to north and southbound SH 130 opened. With the temporary ramp in place, drivers won’t have to detour through the U-turn lane at Presidential Boulevard to get to SH 130, which drivers are happy about since the detour took drivers eight minutes.

The Texas Department of Transportation says the temporary ramp will remain in place until construction on the westbound SH 71 general purpose lanes is complete. The current off ramp to Farm to Market 973 is now closed to all traffic.

If you’re driving westbound on SH 71 and need to get to FM 973, you’ll take the new temporary off ramp near Onion Creek.

Once completed, the SH 71 Express Project will have a 3.9-mile toll road in the middle of SH 71 from Presidential Boulevard to SH 130. A TxDOT spokesperson says the toll lanes were originally slated to open this fall, but instead they will open by the end of the year. The full project completion is still scheduled for spring 2017.

Temporary off ramp for SH 71 to SH 130. (TxDOT)
Temporary off ramp for SH 71 to SH 130. (TxDOT)

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