Commuting from Dripping Springs to Austin

As Dripping Springs continues to grow in popularity as a place to live, many people are finding themselves commuting to Austin for work… and finding themselves stuck in traffic!

But fear not, because I have some tips and tricks to help you beat the traffic and make your commute as smooth as possible.

First off, let’s talk about the route. The most direct way to get from Dripping Springs to Austin is via Highway 290, which turns into Highway 71. However, if you’re commuting during rush hour, you may want to consider taking an alternate route. One option is to take FM 1826 to Mopac, which can help you avoid the congestion around the “Y” at Oak Hill.

Dripping Springs spring by the Dripping Springs city hall

Speaking of the “Y” at Oak Hill, it’s no secret that this can be one of the worst areas for traffic on the commute to Austin. However, there’s good news on the horizon: the “Oakhill Flyover” project is currently underway, which is estimated to reduce travel time to Austin by 10-15 minutes. The project will create a new flyover ramp that will allow drivers to bypass the intersection of Highway 290 and Highway 71, which is one of the main sources of congestion in the area.

The project to upgrade the US 290 roadway is an extensive and costly undertaking, with a budget of $674 million. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), construction is expected to be completed in 2023 or 2024. Once finished, the updated roadway will consist of non-stop mainlanes for through traffic in both directions, along with frontage road lanes. The project includes the construction of several overpasses and flyovers, as well as new intersections and U-turns. It will also feature significant accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians, with 14 miles of shared-use path and 1.5 miles of sidewalks. Additionally, the construction plan includes the building of water quality treatment ponds, an offsite stormwater detention pond, and new landscaping and tree plantings to enhance the aesthetics of the corridor. It will be so helpful once this is finished and will draw more people to live in. Dripping Springs as it will cut the commute to working in Austin and further areas.

Another way to make your commute more bearable is to adjust your schedule. If possible, try to avoid rush hour by shifting your work schedule. For example, you could try working from 7am-4pm instead of 9am-5pm, which would allow you to avoid the worst of the traffic. If you haven’t tried turning your commute into a self-improvement time then I highly recommend getting and start listening to e-books on the drive. It will not only help you grow personally and professionally, but will keep you entertained during your travel times each day. I love listening to books on real estate, marketing and parenting while driving. It makes it less stressful and helps me feel like the time sitting bumper to bumper is not wasted.

It’s also important to stay informed about traffic conditions. With the increased use of technology and distracted driving there are MANY more wrecks in the Austin area! You can use apps like Waze or Google Maps to get real-time traffic updates and find the fastest route. Local news stations like KVUE and KXAN often provide traffic reports during their morning news broadcasts, which can help you plan your route accordingly.

Live Oak in Dripping Springs Ranch Park

If you happen to be driving along HWY 290 between Henly and Dripping Springs during school drop off or pickup times at Walnut Elementary, Dripping Springs Middle, or Dripping Springs High School, brace yourself for some serious congestion! You can read more about local complaints on this subject on the local message board- Dripping Springs Neighbors! Ha! It is a common topic as the population grows and the bus driver shortage continues.

Between 7:40-8 AM or 2:45-3:20 PM for Walnut Elementary, and 8:40-9 AM or 3:30-4 PM for Dripping Springs Middle and High School, the roads can get pretty crowded with parents. Just a heads up if you’re planning to drive through the area during those times!

Commuting from Dripping Springs to Austin can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By taking an alternate route, keeping an eye on traffic conditions, and adjusting your schedule, you can make your commute a little easier. And with the upcoming completion of the “Oakhill Flyover” project, the commute is about to get even better!!

Lauren Clark, Dripping Springs Realtor with Magnolia Realty

Are you thinking about moving to Dripping Springs? I am a local resident and real estate agent and would love to talk more with you about the neighborhoods, local culture and real estate market. Just email or call me to begin! 512-569-8480 or

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