(Seguin) -- Starting overnight Friday, big changes will be in the works for North Austin Street. After months of delays, construction work on North Austin Street (123 Business) will finally be getting underway as TxDOT contractors plan to roll out low profile barriers to close down the northbound lane.
Morgan Ash, the public information officer, says the project will definitely mean planning ahead and finding a new way to your destination.
"Only southbound traffic coming south into town will be allowed on North Austin Street for about eight months. So all traffic going north on North Austin Street from Seideman to Martindale will not be allowed. It will be shut down. We're asking heavy traffic, like heavy trucks to use Highway 46 and 123 Bypass to get around that area. Local traffic, they know their secret ways (to) get around their neighborhoods. We've worked with the school district as far as buses and they know how they're going to be proceeding. TxDOT has given out fliers to businesses and residents in that area to make sure that they're well aware of these changes and the shut downs," said Ash.
Ash says the lane closure is part of the Phase II work on the road reconstruction project that spans North Austin Street from the Railroad Tracks to Interstate 10.
"TxDOT plans to reconstruct north Austin Street creating turn lanes and sidewalks. Creating a wider road service has been in the works for years. It's something that drivers on north Austin Street have been waiting for for years as well. The project was supposed to start last spring but it has been delayed due to different various things. It is kind of getting started and getting started fast. On Friday, at eight o'clock, crews will shut down both lanes at north Austin Street to begin laying barriers throughout the weekend. As soon as that process is complete, the project will move forward," said Ash.
Officials say Phase II of the project is expected to take eight months to complete. The intersections at Martindale, Rosemary, and Baxter Streets will remain open to allow for traffic in both directions (east/west). However, Patton Drive and Roosevelt Drive will be closed at their intersection with N. Austin Street. Ash says there will definitely be some inconveniences but knows that at the end, it will all be worth it.
"The tough part -- it's about eight months we think that all northbound traffic on North Austin Street will be shut down, but we think that the overall project will get done faster based on this short term -- I guess -- inconvenience," said Ash.
City of Seguin officials had recently discussed the project but didn't expect it to be this soon due to failed attempts in the past. Ash says the city was definitely surprised that crews were ready and willing to begin the project right away.
While crews place barriers starting Friday, Feb. 3rd, North Austin Street will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6th. Again, the northbound lane of North Austin Street will remain closed.
Officials say the closure of the roadway will be minimized by the contractor to all extent possible.