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The Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, oversees Texas transportation and is headquartered in Austin. The Texas Legislature created the organization in 1917, although the agency has had several names throughout the past century.TxDOT is run by a five-member commission and an executive director selected by the commission. Commission members are appointed by the governor, with the advice of the Texas Senate, and serve overlapping six-year terms.The department is divided into 25 districts, each of which oversees construction and maintenance of state highways. Austin’s district includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson counties.In Austin, the organization encompasses entities including Capital Metro; the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, known as CAMPO; the city’s transportation department; and the chamber of commerce. TxDOT organized the “Don’t Mess with Texas” anti-litter campaign, which began in 1986. Also, it runs the TxTag program, which bills drivers for highway tolls by scanning a sticker on the driver’s windshield at toll stations.

Half Of I-35's Main Lanes Through North Austin Will Close This Weekend

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TxDOT
A rendering of TxDOT's project on I-35 between U.S. Hwy 290 and Rundberg Lane.

If you were planning to take Interstate 35 through North Austin this weekend, don't.

The Texas Department of Transportation says northbound and southbound traffic between Rundberg Lane and U.S Hwy 290 will be reduced to just two lanes each – from 9 p.m. Friday all the way until 5 a.m. Monday.

The southbound I-35 main lanes will close and become a work zone over the weekend, as crews partially demolish the St. Johns Avenue bridge over the interstate and install beams for a flyover. Two lanes of southbound traffic will be shifted onto what is normally the left two northbound lanes.

TxDOT says new striping and barriers will help guide drivers through the reroute. If you're having trouble visualizing it, here's a diagram:

The bottom line from TxDOT: Don't take I-35 if you have another option.
Credit TxDOT
The bottom line from TxDOT: Don't take I-35 if you have another option.

Diann Hodges, a TxDOT spokesperson, says drivers should expect major delays if they decide to take I-35 this weekend. If you have another option for getting around Austin, she suggests you take it. 

RELATED | Mayor Adler Says More Lanes of I-35 Won't Solve Austin's Traffic Woes — But It's A Start. 

"Typically when we take down a bridge and set beams, we divert the traffic to the frontage roads," Hodges said. "It's just not an option in this case." 

Starting Thursday at 9 p.m., traffic on the St. Johns Avenue bridge will close until Aug. 30 as it's demolished and rebuilt to accommodate improvements to I-35, the transportation department said.

It's the first of three closures on I-35 planned in June for this project. You can learn more at My35Construction.org

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