F1 Fan Fest preparations underway downtown


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

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Posted on November 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 12:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Police are setting up the first of numerous road closures in downtown Austin for the Formula 1 race weekend.

Two blocks closed Wednesday morning so crews could begin setting up for a series of F1 events in the downtown region.
“[It’s going to be] total mayhem,” laughed Tony Cruz who works downtown. “There's going to be a lot of people here. It's going to be pretty big I imagine, and being that it's the first time, they're probably going to go all out.”
The sound of construction already echos through the heart of downtown. The parking lot nestled off Colorado Street between 4th and 3rd Streets is serving as the epicenter for the F1 Fan Fest.
Police closed off a block of both 3rd and 4th Streets on both sides of the lot stretching from Congress Avenue to Colorado Street. Signs are posted on meters and light poles warning drivers of the hours in which parking will close.
Over the next few days more sections will close.
“I think Austin's in for a big kick. Honestly people are going to drive by. They're not going to know what's happening, but in two days it's going to completely transform,” said COTA Fan Fest Producer Ridge Rees.
The roads closed Wednesday morning will remain closed to through traffic until midnight Tuesday. On Thursday morning several more blocks of 4th and 3rd Streets will close, along with parts of Colorado and 2nd Streets. Those closures will last through 6 p.m. Monday.
Police will also shut down the southbound lanes of Congress Avenue through downtown Austin at 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday at 6 a.m. The northbound lanes of Congress will close at 6 p.m. Friday and open again at 6 a.m. Monday morning.
Capital Metro is offering free shuttle service to help get people around during all the closures. The service begins Friday and continues through Sunday. The shuttles will make a loop through downtown Austin, running every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.