The city of Austin transportation officials are urging residents to plan ahead when traveling during this weekend's Formula One festivities.
Crews began setting up barricades on some downtown roads late Wednesday night in preparation for the three-day celebration during F1 weekend. So far, 3rd and 4th Streets between Colorado and Congress Avenue are closed. On Thursday, those closures will be extended to Lavaca and Brazos Streets, and Colorado will close from 2nd to 5th Street.
Thursday evening, the southbound lanes of Congress will close from 2nd to 5th.
Approximately three hundred thousand people are expected to flood to the Capital City during F1 weekend, which is expected to bring increased vehicle and foot traffic to the downtown area.
The city of Austin has set up blue 'wayfinder' signs to help visitors find cab stands, buses and hotel shuttles. According to City Transportation Director Robert Spillar, the city is ready to handle the influx of visitors.
"I think we're ready. There will be congestion when you add 100-300 thousand people to the network, whether that's walking driving, biking or transit. But I think we're ready and committed to getting better each year as more infrastructure gets into place," said Spillar.
Traffic is also projected to be heavy on roads leading from the Austin Bergstrom International Airport into downtown and out to the Circuit of the Americas race track.
TxDOT expects heavy traffic on I-35 as well, and recommends that commuters give themselves more time than they think they might need to get to where they are going.