Stock up on stress balls, folks, because downtown Austin traffic is set to get even worse.
On Tuesday, the University of Texas at Austin told the Austin American-Statesman that Red River between 15th St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. will be shut down starting April 12, lasting through the remainder of 2014.
During that time, this major downtown thoroughfare will be inaccessible to drivers, and UT warns that there may be additional traffic issues around the area as a result. Pedestrians will be able to access parts of Red River via a pedestrian walkway. Cyclists will not be able to use the street, but should instead use the Trinity St. bike path. A UT spokesperson confirms that following completion of the re-route, Red River will have a brand new bike lane.
Red River will be re-routed as part of the creation of the Dell Medical School, which will be built on property across from the Frank Erwin Center. At a press conference last year announcing the endeavor, UT President Bill Powers said, "The new medical school campus will be part of our academic campus, and this will be a powerful connection. Our medical students will be walking distance from some of the most innovative research in the world — not only in medicine but in pharmacy, chemistry, medical business systems and biomedical engineering."
The new medical school, which is likely to become one of the country's premier teaching hospitals, is a partnership between Seton Healthcare Family, Central Health and the UT Systems. It plans on accepting its first class in 2016.
To see an updated construction map, including bus schedules, UT shuttle routes and pedestrian walkways, visit the UT construction detail.