AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Expect traffic out of downtown to get even more congested. Starting next week, several lanes will be closed near the South First and Barton Springs intersection for most of the summer.
A company is doing redevelopment in the area along South First Street.
The reason for the lane closures is they need to bury Austin Energy lines under the pavement.
“It's going to create the biggest amount of congestion you've seen in the city for sure,” said Heather Francis who travels on Barton Springs often. “It's going to back it up more for sure and I won't be the only one late,” said Armia Williams, she takes the bus on S 1st.
For 3 months, lane closures are coming to the South 1st and Barton Springs area as redevelopment continues nearby. Those who regularly travel the area like Williams said it's already difficult to get where you want to go on time with all the lanes open.
“The cars don't move so then your late no matter what you're late,” said Williams.
According to the city, the southernmost eastbound lane on Barton Springs near the intersection will be closed along with the 2 western most southbound lanes on S 1st.
The reason is to bury Austin Energy lines under the pavement.
FOX 7 reached out to the Austin Transportation Department on plans to alleviate the traffic during this time. Instead they are urging people to ride their bikes or take the bus.
Williams already does this because of the current traffic.
“I take the bus and I’m still late,” said Williams.
The transportation department also tells FOX 7, lane closures are common with construction projects and sometimes they have to happen in heavily traveled areas.
We reached out to "The Beck Group" who is developing the area, they gave FOX 7 this statement. "We are working with the City of Austin on this project to bring long-term benefits to the community, including streets-cape, open space and walk-ability improvements. Safety is our number one priority, and as with any construction project, there will be temporary changes in traffic patterns in the area to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians, neighbors and construction team members."
For now, Williams said she will try to avoid the area if it gets too bad. The closure on Barton Springs begin next week with the closures on South 1st at the end of the month.