Colorado Street two-way traffic expected to open by end of summer

Crews are working to convert the street from one-way to a two-way road. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)
Crews are working to convert the street from one-way to a two-way road. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two years of construction on a downtown Austin street is almost over, as one-way Colorado Street is about to become a two-way street.

Orange and white barricades have become a common theme on the road as crews work to convert the road into a two-way street between 10th Street and Cesar Chavez Street. Drivers may have noticed there are already signal lights installed for future northbound traffic at Colorado Street and Sixth Street.

Officials with the city of Austin say the work was delayed because of construction on nearby buildings, like the UT Regents building. Central Area Traffic engineer Lee Austin says converting other downtown roads was also a higher priority.

“Colorado is a little bit less vital to get done before school starts. Fifth Street is our biggest focus with getting it done before the students come back to town,” says Austin.

These signal lights on Colorado Street will be for traffic heading northbound. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)
These signal lights on Colorado Street will be for traffic heading northbound. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)

Monica Quintilla commutes into downtown Austin for work daily and works near Colorado Street. She says the conversion will be good for traffic flow but has other concerns. “I’m just thinking right now, trying to find parking around here, I have to go two streets down to find something around here.”

When it comes to how many parking spaces could be lost, or added, the city says it’s still working that out. But it has decided the blocks between Cesar Chavez and Third Street will have parking on both sides of Colorado Street, before the road expands to three lanes and reduces parking to just one side of Colorado.

“Instead of having to circle the block to get to your destination, you’ll be able to just go directly there,” says Austin.

The Colorado Street Reconstruction project has a price tag of nearly $6 million. It’s being paid for with money from the 2012 Transportation and Mobility Bond. The road will also have Great Street elements which include improvements like sidewalks being widened to be more pedestrian-friendly and trees planted to add more shade.

Those orange and white barricades should be out of your way by the end summer.

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