Motorists heading to Austin this weekend could enjoy a toll-free trip, but be prepared for construction-related traffic.
Texas is removing the tolls from the Central Texas Turnpike in Austin -- but only for the weekend.
The Texas Department of Transportation will waive the tolls on Texas 130, Texas 45 Southeast and part of Texas 45 North from 9 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Sunday. During that time, the main non-toll route through the Austin area, Interstate 35, will be shut down for construction at Ben White Freeway.
"The full closure of an interstate highway, even on a weekend, is a significant event," tr ansportation department executive director Amadeo Saenz said in a statement. "We hope that by waiving these tolls, drivers will be encouraged to use an alternate route around the construction area."
The closure is part of a $26-million project that include four new direct-connection ramps to the I-35 interchange. Steel beams will be placed over the I-35 main lanes.
-- Gordon Dickson, firstname.lastname@example.org