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Transportation
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.

TxDOT Breaks Ground On Bypass Road To Help Ease Congestion At Four Points Intersection

Folks hold shovels at a groundbreaking for a new bypass road.
TxDOT
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TxDOT breaks ground on a bypass road that will connect RM 620 and RM 2222 to the east of the Four Points intersection.

The Four Points intersection at RM 620 and RM 2222 in western Travis County has been a source of growing frustration for drivers over the years.

“For folks who live in that area or have to drive through it, they know what a nightmare it can be,” TxDOT spokesman Brad Wheelis said. “Traffic is backed up, people are waiting on the lights at that intersection and what we’re trying to do is provide some relief there.”

Officials broke ground Wednesday on a project expected to provide that relief: a bypass road that will run from a mile north of Steiner Ranch Road to RM 2222. It's expected to cost $10 million and be completed in spring 2021.

Right now, Wheelis said, around 50,000 vehicles pass through the Four Points intersection every day and the number continues to grow.

“There’s really no alternative for folks in that area outside of RM 620, so they need the relief. There’s nowhere else for them to go,” he said. “By diverting the traffic to the east, we take a lot of that away from that intersection. There’s less pressure there.”

Crews have already started work on a separate project to widen RM 2222 from Bonaventure Drive to Ribelin Ranch Drive. That work is expected to be done in summer 2021.

The construction cost of the widening project is $17 million.

The City of Austin is contributing $7.5 million toward these projects from the 2016 mobility bond.

Got a tip? Email Samuel King at samuel@kut.org. Follow him @SamuelKingNews.

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