Second lane opens at the I-35 and 51st St. roundabout

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The inside lane of the roundabout at I-35 and 51st Street is now open to drivers.

The main purpose of that inside lane will be to help drivers on westbound 51st Street access southbound I-35. It'll also loop around the intersection, allowing drivers an opportunity to take the exit they need if they miss it the first time.

Cindy Gonzales has lived in the area for 20 years and says already seen a difference in the amount of cut-through traffic in her neighborhood. 

"A lot of Texans — native Texans — are not used to the roundabout traffic circle. I think from my standpoint, our traffic overflow from people using the I-35 access has definitely slowed down which makes me feel better about our neighborhood safety," Gonzales says. "Again, I think time will tell, but I see it as a positive addition to our neighborhood."

The roundabout isn't quite finished, so drivers should allow extra time to travel through the area and stay alert as they move through the work zone. Crews will be finishing work on curbs and landscaping, with all work completed by the end of June. Police helped direct traffic through the intersection earlier this morning and will be out again for the evening rush hour commute.

As more and more people use the roundabout, TxDOT released a list of safety information for traveling through a roundabout:

  • Yield to drivers in the roundabout
  • Choose appropriate lane before entering the roundabout
  • Minimize lane changes within the roundabout
  • Do not stop in the roundabout
  • Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles

The overall price tag for the project is $16.5 million dollars.  

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