Both main highways close in South Austin for the night

Both of the main highways in South Austin will be closing Saturday night for construction projects.

“I'm actually pretty worried about it,” said Emily Sears who lives in the South Austin area. 

All lanes of I-35 will close from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday at the Slaughter Creek overpass. South Mopac will also be closed at the Loop 360 bridge.

“I don't know how you're going to go South anywhere. I don't know of another pass, 360 maybe, but that's going to be crazy,” said John Renfro who often drives through Austin.

Closures on Mopac will allow construction crews to hang concrete beams on the North 360 bridge over the highway. That's part of a $6.4 million project to create extended entrance and exit lanes on 360.

The ramp from Mopac to South 360 will also be closed, as well as a couple lanes on the Mopac frontage road and the inside lane of Loop 360 near the bridge. Traffic there will be diverted onto the Mopac frontage road.

“I didn't know it was happening tonight. Definitely not looking forward to that, because I’m going to need to get home later. Not sure how I'll do that,” said Sears.

While that construction is taking place, crews will be working on demolishing the Slaughter Creek overpass on I-35. All lanes of the Interstate will be closed in that area from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday.

Construction is nothing new to Austin drivers, but some say it didn't have to get this bad.

“I mean I understand how construction projects go. It seems like Austin's had a long history though of being behind the curve of getting in front of population growth and road construction,” Renfro said.  

So do drivers in Austin have any suggestions to keep traffic moving on main highways?

“They need to build them wider and build them faster,” Renfro said. 

South Mopac and all lanes of I-35 are expected to re-open Sunday morning at 10 a.m.

The Texas Department of Transportation said if construction on Mopac is completed before the 10 a.m. deadline, it is possible they will re-open lanes before then.