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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.

I-35/Ben White Closures Nearly Done?

This illustration shows where the new connector ramps are being constructed at I-35 and Ben White Boulevard (SH-71).
Photo courtesy of TxDOT
This illustration shows where the new connector ramps are being constructed at I-35 and Ben White Boulevard (SH-71).

As drivers cope with yet another closure around Ben White Boulevard (SH-71) and I-35 this weekend, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Ben White Boulevard will be narrowed between Burleson Road and South Congress Avenue to allow one lane of traffic in each direction. Crews will hang the final steel beams supporting flyover ramps connecting the main lanes of Ben White and I-35.  In addition, the southbound I-35 frontage road will be closed between the westbound and eastbound frontage roads of Ben White Boulevard.

“This is the last weekend we have to do this, and it’s possible, possible that this may be the last weekend-type closure," Texas Department of Transportation spokesman John Hurt told KUT News. "But when we start the concrete pours, it may be that we’re in a situation where we don’t want to work over traffic and we’ll need one more [closure], but I don’t know when that weekend would be.”

Hurt said the project is running ahead of schedule and should be open to traffic by the time school starts.

You can see a detailed map of the closure here.

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