AUSTIN (KXAN) — Drivers looking to avoid I-35 through downtown Austin are taking to SH-130 more than ever.

KXAN traffic anchor Erica Brennes shows us how much busier it’s gotten.

“It’s horrible, it’s really horrible getting to work!”

If I told you Vanessa Davila is referring to Austin area traffic, you wouldn’t be surprised, right? But what if I told you she’s referring to traffic in Hutto on SH 130!?

“My average I’ll say 30 minutes and then when I get back like say the end of the day. I have to say it took an hour to get home. My husband’s like Where the hell are you? Oh my god. I was in traffic literally,” Davila says.

Many days during the morning and evening rush hour that traffic is bumper to bumper on SH 130 through Hutto.

Kenneth Longmire says, “A lot of people have moved in this area, traffic is getting worse and worse on 130. I only get on there real early in the morning, or really late in the evening, I’m talking 7 or 8 o’clock. In between times, anytime after 7 in the morning, 130 will be backed up.”

But most of the 130 miles of SH 130 flow pretty smoothly, and it seems drivers are noticing.

“The passenger and heavy truck traffic along the southern part of SH 130 was up 17%, year over year for 2022, which is another all-time high.” James Lovett is with SH 130 Concession Co., which operates and maintains the southern section of SH 130 from southeast Travis County to the east of San Antonio.

“Transactions are up nearly 50%. So a lot of growth in our traffic, and much of that can be attributed to the development that’s happening in the corridor,” Lovett says.

They also report there were more than 11.42 million transactions on SH 130 between Austin and San Antonio last year. SH 130 Concession Co also says overall traffic along 130 has increased by 47% since 2019.

Their report also found heavy truck traffic increased 68% during the last four years, including a 26% gain in 2022 alone.

At the intersection of SH 130 and SH 142 in Lockart, the growth is significant, with new developments underway, new housing projects, and the construction of a 75-acre industrial park. There are a lot more people out and about in this area.

Lovett says, “One of the benefits for why they’re setting up shop specifically along sh 130 is reliability, they are looking for predictability and delivery times. And so having that access, you know, we’re a congestion-free route, which is much different than 35. And so they can get their goods where they need to go.”

Despite the increase in traffic on the southern portion of 130, Lovett is proud to report the number of crashes is lower than the state average of crashes on similar-sized highways, with 30 crashes reported per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

To travel the entire 130-mile stretch of SH 130 will cost you $16.34