Austin's I-35 Undergoes Significant Revisions

Aug. 4, 2023
The main goal of the project is to widen the highway that has been open since 1962

The $4.5 billion Interstate 35 project that runs through Central Austin is undergoing some significant revisions in the plan. The main goal of the project is to widen the highway that has been open since 1962.

The revisions to the project include the possibility of covering larger sections of the highway north of downtown Austin, constructing a $25 million boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake, and filtering stormwater runoff into the Colorado River.

The I-35 Capital Express Central project is expected to begin early next year, and is estimated to take eight years to complete.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) intends to add two "managed lanes" for vehicles carrying two or more passengers, from Ben White Boulevard to U.S. 290 East. The upper decks north of downtown are set to be demolished, and bridges crossing I-35 will be rebuilt and made wider to include more space for pedestrians.

The transformation includes lowering the main lanes for much of the distance between Oltorf Street and Airport Boulevard. Austin is hoping to cover these lowered portions of the highway with "caps" that could support buildings at least two stories tall. TxDOT won't pay for the caps, but will engineer the highway to allow for their installation.

Austin is still searching for a way to pay for the caps, which is estimated to cost up to $800 million.

----------------------------------------------

Source: KUT.org