AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Transportation’s $7.4 billion Unified Transportation Program or UTP plan is TxDOT’s 10-year plan to guide the development of transportation work across Central Texas.

In Central Texas, that could include projects in 11 counties: Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, Burnet and Llano counties to name a few.

Some projects in the 2023 UTP draft include:

  • Widening Interstate 35 in Round Rock from State Highway 45 North to Ranch to Market Road 1431
  • Improvements to a U.S. 290 intersection in Dripping Springs
  • Widening U.S. 281 along a section of County Road 413 in Blanco County
  • Highway 95 in Smithville could expand to make room for a turn lane.
  • In Austin, plans for an interchange at State Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 183.
(Source: TxDOT)

TxDOT officials explained the SH 71 project will begin at Riverside Drive and end at Presidential Boulevard. The project will consist of an eastbound frontage road along SH 71 or E. Ben White Boulevard that officials said will provide “improved/direct access” to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Presidential Boulevard. The project also includes a flyover from southbound U.S. 183 to eastbound SH 71 and two new overpasses at U.S. 183 and Spirit of Texas Drive.

Officials said the UTP plan will help steer the future of transportation as the area tackles growth.

“We continue to see tremendous growth in population and development in the Austin area increasing demand on the infrastructure, and that’s why it’s important to have a plan to address congestion and safety,” said Brad Wheelis, TxDOT’s spokesperson.

The $7.4 billion figure is just an estimate of how much construction on Austin-area projects under the UTP could cost based on current construction costs.

Tuesday, TxDOT will host a virtual meeting at 2 p.m. TxDOT officials said those wishing to speak at the virtual public hearing will need to call the operator-managed phone line at 1 (888)-378-4398 and enter the participant passcode: 805838.