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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.

UT Crowds And I-35 Construction Could Slow Weekend Traffic

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News
Traffic could be much busier than this on I-35 this weekend because of numerous events at UT and a temporary closure at Ben White Blvd.

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.

The Longhorns baseball team is scheduled to face off against Texas A&M University at Disch Falk Field on Friday and Saturday at 6 pm. The high-stakes three-game series got underway on Thursday, and will decide the Big 12 championship race.

Meanwhile, right next to Dish Falk at McCombs Field, the University of Houston softball team will play Louisiana-Lafayette in the NCAA Austin Regional at 4 pm today.

Individual UT colleges and schools will be holding convocations from 8:30 am to 7 pm today and from 8:30 am to 3 pm Saturday.  A large university-wide commencement ceremony gets going at 6:30 pm Saturday evening outside the UT Tower. You can check out the complete schedule here.

Add to all that congestion a complete shutdown of I-35 at Ben White Blvd. this weekend.  The northbound lanes will close at 10 pm tonight and the southbound lanes will close at 10 pm Saturday, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Neither is scheduled to reopen until Sunday night.

If you’re traveling northbound, you’ll be forced to take the frontage road from Stassney Ln. to Woodward St. If you’re headed south, you’ll be forced off at Woodward St. and will be allowed back on at Shelby Ln.

Check out TxDOT’s .pdf maps for more details on the Friday and Saturday closures.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.