Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Austin's First Two-Lane Roundabout Opens At 51st And I-35


The biggest roundabout in Austin will open at the intersection of the southbound frontage of I-35 and 51st Streeton Sunday. But first TxDOT will have to close it completely for a few days to put the finishing touches on it – which means getting rid some of the intersection’s main features.


“We’re going to remove the traffic signals," said Diann Hodges, spokesperson for the Austin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. "So, you will no longer come to a stop at that intersection. You will enter that roundabout, and you will circle around and make a series of right turns to get out of the roundabout.”


Austin police and new signage will be in place to direct traffic though the new pattern starting Sunday.



Roundabouts are considered safer intersections because there are no left turns across oncoming traffic. That reduces the possibility of crashes that result in injury or death, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


If the intersection is deemed successful, drivers could be seeing more roundabouts in Austin.


Jimmy is the assistant program director, but still reports on business and sports every now and then. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @maasdinero.
Related Content