The Texas Capitol building in Austin

AUSTIN -- Tourists and those with business to conduct at the Texas Capitol need to be prepared for construction and traffic changes as the building undergoes a security upgrade.

"Since the 9/11 attacks, venues throughout the nation have made efforts to strengthen the safety and security of staff and visitors in public places," said Gov. Rick Perry. "These changes will make the Texas Capitol more secure for lawmakers, staff and visitors."

According to a press release from the governor's office,
the upgrade project began in late December 2007 and is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2008.

Traffic flow on Capitol grounds is being redirected so that all vehicles enter on 15th Street. The one-way, north-to-to-south traffic flow will create two exits at 11th Street. These exits will be linked with the city's traffic signal system.

The east and west gates will also become exits. Upgrades will include retractable bollards at entry and exit points of the grounds and the construction of a gatehouse for Department of Public Safety personnel at the North entrance.

The security measures will eliminate the need for posting DPS troopers in their cars 24/7 at each entrance and exit.

Construction will take place in phases to minimize disruption.

Additionally, the state is working with Capitol Metro to address relocation of their bus stop on 11th Street adjacent to the Capitol Grounds.

The $3.3 million project is funded by legislative appropriations made to the State Preservation Board, which is charged with caring for the Capitol and Capitol grounds.

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