State Highway 130 (SH 130) represents the single largest highway project in Texas and one of the largest design-build highway projects in the United States. SH 130 was also the first state highway project in Texas to be built under an exclusive development agreement (EDA), allowing the work of property acquisition, design, and construction to be undertaken simultaneously. This 49-mile toll road extends east of IH 35 from Georgetown to US 183 near Mustang Ridge south east of Austin, relieving congestion on IH 35 and other major roadways in the Austin area.
SH 130 included 125 structures, seven major interchanges, 118 bridges and 2.9 million square yards of concrete paving. The ultimate design for SH 130 includes two or three main lanes of travel in both northbound and southbound directions with three-lane frontage roads. The alignment and proposed median width have been designed to accommodate future transportation needs such as general multi-purpose lanes, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities, and light rail transit.
Balfour Beatty was part of the joint venture responsible for the SH 130 project.
Key instruction activities included the following:
US 79/SH 130 Interchange – The new three-level interchange at US 79 and SH 130 includes 10 bridges and 14 retaining walls. Construction was complicated by the existing, heavily used, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) that the SH 130 main lanes passed over while the SH 130 frontage roads passed under. A temporary or shoo-fly line was constructed, and UPRR rail traffic was moved on to it. This allowed top-down construction to take place for the two new UPRR steel bridges. After these bridges were completed, the UPRR was switched back to the original alignment on to the new structures. This allowed the excavation and drilled shaft retaining walls for the two frontage roads to proceed underneath the railroad. US 79 traffic was phased to accommodate the replacement of two bridges over the adjacent creeks. LSI constructed the US 79 WB bridges to the wider ultimate width, allowing four-lane capacity in a temporary condition which eliminated a traffic stage.
SH 45/SH 130 Interchange – The SH 45 interchange included four-direct connector bridges that connected SH 130 to the new SH 45 toll road that was under concurrent construction. This involved comprehensive coordination with the adjacent contractor, designers, and TxDOT. This interchange was complicated by its location near the convergence of two high voltage electrical transmissions lines. The SH 130 connection to SH 45 in Pflugerville, Texas
US 290/SH 130 Interchange – The US 290 intersection involved reconstructing the heavily traveled Austin to Houston roadway from four to six lanes while building the SH 130 main lanes underneath. This involved constructing the future US 290 frontage roads and bridges, rerouting the main lane traffic to them, and excavating underneath for SH 130. This intersection also included the construction of a 5,200-foot-long direct connector bridge.