Austinites will soon have some traffic relief on a major roadway—for a hefty price, that is.

On Thursday morning, the Texas Transportation Commission approved a plan to improve US 183 North, a section of the state highway that runs from Loop 1 up to RM 620 in North Austin.

The plan, estimated to cost roughly $650 million, calls for one additional non-tolled lane in both directions as well as two toll lanes on either side.

The toll lanes will be variably priced, meaning the cost will increase as traffic gets worse. Similar toll lanes on Loop 1 have a base rate of 25 cents, but have shot up to over $11 during peak rush hour.

According to a Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority study, these new additions will eventually clear up congestion on the oft-gridlocked stretch of highway and, by 2035, even enable drivers to travel full speed all the time.

The plan is currently in final stages of design and could begin construction over the next year. The project is expected to take four years to complete.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.