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Montopolis Bridge to become bicycle/pedestrian only

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Katy McElroy

On Monday, Oct. 8, the Montopolis steel truss bridge will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority plans to rehabilitate the historic structure into a pedestrian and bicycle crossing that will link up with other area trails and parks. The bridge will remain open to pedestrian and bike traffic as the authority does the construction work, aside from sporadic interruptions for lead paint abatement. The improvements to the bridge, which was constructed in 1938 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, are part of the 183 South project. Starting next week, vehicles driving from Cesar Chavez Street will shift onto a new bridge and access U.S. Highway 183 southbound above the Colorado River, marking a milestone in the construction of the 183 South Expressway at the Colorado River. Drivers will no longer be able to access westbound Montopolis Drive directly from the Montopolis Bridge, but must detour via U.S. 183 southbound to the Vargas Road/Montopolis Drive detour to access Montopolis Drive. “As Central Texans, we’re proud of the Montopolis Bridge and what it represents for our region,” said Mike Heiligenstein, executive director for the mobility authority, in a news release. “We know this structure once served as the only connection between the Montopolis neighborhood and our capital city’s downtown core. Preserving its character and historical significance has been our priority from the outset. We are excited that this component of the project will improve safety, mobility and accessibility for Austin residents, travelers, and visitors to the region.”

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