Thanksgiving travel: where are notorious problem spots in Austin?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Traffic congestion in central Texas is already an everyday struggle but on Wednesday, it’s expected to be worse.

The day before Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest travel days. According to AAA Texas, more than 3.8 million Texans will drive 50 miles or more away from home to spend the holiday with their loved ones.

AAA told KXAN if you’re on the road Wednesday, anticipate delays in these areas:

  • Interstate 35 through downtown
  • Interstate 35 at U.S. 290 East
  • Interstate 35 at Slaughter Lane
  • MoPac and U.S. 183

If you’re traveling out of town, be extra careful at these locations.

  • Dallas: I-45 and U.S. 75 interchange
  • Houston: Southwest Freeway
  • San Antonio: I-35 at I-10

Construction on highways

“We have hundreds of projects going on in the Austin area right now,” said Brad Wheelis, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation.

He said the agency is pausing all construction activities this week. “We know that Thanksgiving, of course, is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so we want to make sure that we’re out of the way,” Wheelis explained. “That way folks don’t have to contend with construction workers or equipment moving. However, some of these projects are really big, and some of those construction zones don’t go away.”

That means concrete barriers will remain in place, so in some places, you’ll still experience narrow lanes or narrow roadways.

Wheelis said you can plan ahead by looking at The map shows where all the TxDOT construction zones are, you can anticipate any delays caused by the construction sites being there.

According to TxDOT, three people died last year in car crashes in central Texas over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. They’re encouraging all drivers to drive like how you want the person next you to drive — safely and without getting distracted by your phone.

“Many times, folks pay more attention when they’re on busy roadways, but when you’re on one of those secondary roadways, you need to pay the same amount of attention,” Wheelis said. “Don’t become complacent. The minute you do that, you take your guard down. There’s an opportunity for a crash there.”

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