I-35 http://kut.org en What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? http://kut.org/post/what-diverging-diamond-interchange-and-how-might-it-help-traffic-round-rock <p>State transportation authorities announced this week that they received the green light to build a $6.7 million "diverging diamond interchange" at I-35 and University Blvd. in Round Rock. That's an area that gets a lot of traffic, partly because it's near the only IKEA in Central Texas and the <a href="http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=73">Round Rock Premium Outlets</a>, among many other retail businesses.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 01:01:06 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10724 at http://kut.org What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? TxDOT Backs Plans to Bury I-35 – Just Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting http://kut.org/post/txdot-backs-plans-bury-i-35-just-don-t-hold-your-breath-waiting <p>Sorry, Austin – there's no money to improve the Interstate 35 corridor. At least not enough for a full face-lift, according to the <a href="http://www.txdot.gov/">Texas Department of Transportation</a>.</p><p>But as money becomes available, TxDOT says it will continue working on portions of the highway. At <a href="http://www.mobility35openhouse.com/">a media workshop today</a>, the state agency said that by the end of the year it should move from the planning stages of I-35 improvements and into studying their environmental impact. That should take about two years. And then – if funding is available – it will be time to start implementing changes.</p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 21:20:21 +0000 Joy Diaz 10535 at http://kut.org TxDOT Backs Plans to Bury I-35 – Just Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle http://kut.org/post/even-85-mph-highway-cant-fix-austins-traffic-tangle Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.<p>For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what's left of its quirky character.<p>The best way to experience Austin traffic may be from inside the police department's new helicopter. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:16:03 +0000 Wade Goodwyn, NPR 9386 at http://kut.org Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle Current Long-Term Plans Do Nothing to Improve Austin’s I-35 Headaches http://kut.org/post/current-long-term-plans-do-nothing-improve-austin-s-i-35-headaches <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">This article is written by KUT’s reporting partner the <a href="http://austinmonitor.org">Austin Monitor (formerly In Fact Daily)</a>. Below, listen to an interview with author Mark Richardson.&nbsp;</em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Current long-term plans – such as the&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">2035 CAMPO Transportation Plan</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;– will do little more than maintain the current level of traffic bottlenecks on&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Interstate 35</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;and won’t take enough vehicles off the road to significantly cut commute times, according to a report on traffic congestion on the I-35 corridor through Austin.</span></p><p>The report,&nbsp;<em>Long-Term Central Texas IH 35 Improvement Scenarios,&nbsp;</em>was done by the&nbsp;<strong>Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute</strong>&nbsp;as part of a study ordered by the&nbsp;<strong>83rd Texas Legislature</strong>. It is a comprehensive look at long-term strategies to alleviate traffic congestion on I-35 between Buda and Round Rock.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124549317&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:13:57 +0000 Mark Richardson 9361 at http://kut.org Current Long-Term Plans Do Nothing to Improve Austin’s I-35 Headaches Map: Are These Austin's Worst Intersections? http://kut.org/post/map-are-these-austins-worst-intersections <p></p><p>In Austin, it's a constant: Traffic.</p><p>There’s&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/gravel-roads-funding-cuts-texas-transportation-proposals-create-confusion-alarm">recent statewide&nbsp;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-support-long-delayed-sh-45-sw">local efforts</a>&nbsp;to mitigate congestion – which will take substantial investment and extensive construction. So despite proposals in the pipeline, traffic will continue to be a slow-going,&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-traffic-slow-and-growing">fast-growing problem</a>.</p><p>So, it got us wondering: What are the worst intersections in Austin?&nbsp;</p><p><iframe height="480" src="http://mapsengine.google.com/map/embed?mid=zVcpBdHQavKE.kwedjeyW6TOU" width="580"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:26:35 +0000 Andrew Weber 8999 at http://kut.org Map: Are These Austin's Worst Intersections? A Deeper Look at Austin Plans to Bury I-35 http://kut.org/post/deeper-look-austin-plans-bury-i-35 <p>Austin traffic <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/austin-traffic-slow-and-growing">can be awful</a>. And Austin drivers know that a great part of that congestion comes from stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 35.</p><p>Big problems demand big solutions – and the "cut and cap" proposal to bury I-35 is gaining momentum. The plan, developed by Austin architect <a href="http://www.blackvernooy.com/">Sinclair Black</a> would “cut” I-35 from Cesar Chavez to 12<sup>th</sup> Street. Those lanes would then be built underground, and “capped” by something.&nbsp;The Austin City Council OK’d <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/should-austin-bury-i-35-proposal-reconnect-city-gets-new-look-update">a closer look at the plan</a> back in June.</p><p> Fri, 02 Aug 2013 20:05:47 +0000 Joy Diaz & Wells Dunbar 8450 at http://kut.org A Deeper Look at Austin Plans to Bury I-35 One Big Way to Cut Austin Traffic: Have I-35, SH 130 Trade Places http://kut.org/post/one-big-way-cut-austin-traffic-have-i-35-sh-130-trade-places <p>It’s no secret Interstate 35 congestion takes a toll on Austinites.</p><p>Out of a list of Texas’ <a href="http://www.dot.state.tx.us/news/042-2012.htm">100 most congested roadways</a>, the portion of I-35 running through central Austin is the fourth most congested in the state. Meanwhile, State Highway 130, out east of I-35, is open for business.</p><p> Wed, 03 Apr 2013 16:05:00 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7184 at http://kut.org One Big Way to Cut Austin Traffic: Have I-35, SH 130 Trade Places Austin Cops Cracking Down on Aggressive I-35 Drivers Next Week http://kut.org/post/austin-cops-cracking-down-aggressive-i-35-drivers-next-week <p>The Austin Police Department wants to curb aggressive driving on Interstate 35. Starting Sunday, March 17, APD and other law enforcement agencies will increase their <a href="http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1861810ce1dca1a4c1673747c&amp;id=c1fb716244&amp;e=84c5698986">operations along the I-35 corridor</a>. The crackdown will continue until Saturday, March 23.</p><p>APD says they’ll be looking for those who speed, tailgate, pass emergency vehicles, and fail to signal or wear a seat belt.</p><p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 19:57:30 +0000 Austin Feldman 6975 at http://kut.org Austin Cops Cracking Down on Aggressive I-35 Drivers Next Week I-35, 290 Among Texas' Top 100 Traffic Problems http://kut.org/post/i-35-290-among-texas-top-100-traffic-problems <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sections of I-35 and </span>MoPac<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are singled out in a new report as being among the 100 top traffic challenges in the Texas.</span></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 23:35:00 +0000 Mark Dewey 6237 at http://kut.org I-35, 290 Among Texas' Top 100 Traffic Problems TxDOT Looking at High-Speed Rail from Oklahoma to Texas http://kut.org/post/txdot-looking-high-speed-rail-oklahoma-texas <p>The <a href="http://www.txdot.gov/" target="_blank">Texas Department of Transportation</a> has moved o<a href="http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-room/news/statewide/052-2012.html" target="_blank">ne step closer towards the idea of using rail</a> as an option to address highway congestion on Interstate 35. The news comes as the TxDOT kicks off a $14 million, two-year study to explore the possibility of passenger rail service from Oklahoma City to South Texas.</p><p>The study will examine the best possible options for the development of passenger trains that will connect metropolitan areas such as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Austin, and San Antonio.&nbsp; The analysis will compare different types of services, including both a new high-speed rail system and existing&nbsp;Amtrak routes.</p><p>John Barton,&nbsp;TxDOT deputy executive director and chief engineer,&nbsp;says “passenger rail [is] a strategic component for the future of Texas transportation.”</p><p>The rail study is partially funded by a <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/passenger/2243.shtml" target="_blank">$5.6 million grant</a> from the <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/">Federal Railroad Administration</a>’s <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/downloads/HSIPR_Federal_Investment_Highlights_20120203.pdf" target="_blank">High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program</a>, and a 20 percent match by TxDOT.</p><p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 14:48:45 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh 5345 at http://kut.org TxDOT Looking at High-Speed Rail from Oklahoma to Texas A Big Mess: Cleaning Up After This Morning's Fuel Spill http://kut.org/post/big-mess-cleaning-after-mornings-fuel-spill <p>The frontage road of Interstate&nbsp;35 between FM 1327 and Slaughter Lane is expected to be closed for much of the day after a <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/fuel-spill-shuts-down-nb-i-35-fm-1327-slaughter" target="_blank">fuel spill this morning</a>.</p><p>For much of the morning, all northbound lanes of the highway were also closed in the area — causing major traffic delays.</p><p>The Austin Fire Department says an estimated 700 gallons of fuel spilled on the roadway when an 18-wheeler overturned, creating a need for careful cleanup that shut the highway through morning rush hour.</p><p>But AFD Battalion Chief Palmer Buck says, in years past, the closures would have been even longer because the department would have had to wait for the trucking company to send a cleanup team.</p><p>“The Austin Fire Department is one of the few teams that has the equipment and the expertise to do this," Buck says. "A decade ago, we would have had to wait six to eight hours before the operation even started, so we would be talking about sometime this evening before we got the roads open." Thu, 27 Sep 2012 22:07:39 +0000 Laura Rice 5185 at http://kut.org A Big Mess: Cleaning Up After This Morning's Fuel Spill Fuel Spill Shuts Down NB I-35 From FM 1327 to Slaughter http://kut.org/post/fuel-spill-shuts-down-nb-i-35-fm-1327-slaughter <p><strong>Update (8:47 a.m.)</strong>: Austin Police say the northbound lanes of I-35 are now open. The frontage road is still closed, however, until further notice.</p><p><strong>Update (8:36 a.m.): </strong>AISD says Blazier Elementary School is being affected by the shutdown of I-35 - but the school is still open. The district says some buses headed for the school have been delayed, but classes have begun on time and buses are still going to the school. Buses that have not shown up to pick up students yet will be there eventually, the district says.</p><p><strong>Update (7:53 a.m.): </strong>The City of Austin Transportation Department is controlling traffic lights on South 1<sup>st</sup> Street and Manchaca Road to give northbound drivers longer green lights.</p><p><strong>Update (7:35 a.m.): </strong>Meantime, KUT News is confirming reports about a second incident causing delays on southbound I-35 between U.S. 183 and Rundberg Lane.</p><p><strong>Update (7:10 a.m.)</strong>: TxDOT is now waiving tolls on State Highway 45 Southeast and State Highway 130 between U.S. 183 and State Highway 71 while part of northbound I-35 is shut down this morning.</p><p><strong>Update (6:25 a.m.)</strong>: The Austin Fire Department says the overturned truck has spilled at least 700 gallons of fuel. It was carrying as much as 9,600 gallons of diesel, gasoline and ethanol. Emergency crews are trying to transfer the fuel to another trailer and have no estimate on how long that will take.</p><p><strong>Original post (6:18 a.m.)</strong>: A gas spill on northbound I-35 is expected to cause traffic delays through rush hour this morning.</p><p>Austin Police say northbound I-35 traffic including the frontage road will be diverted starting at FM 1327—that’s just north of State Highway 45.</p><p>Drivers won’t be allowed back on the highway until just north of Slaughter Lane. Thu, 27 Sep 2012 11:18:41 +0000 Laura Rice 5177 at http://kut.org Fuel Spill Shuts Down NB I-35 From FM 1327 to Slaughter Drought Takes Toll on State Highway 130 http://kut.org/post/drought-takes-toll-state-highway-130 <p></p><p>Despite setbacks,<a href="http://www.mysh130.com/">&nbsp;State Highway 130</a>&nbsp;is still set to open in its entirety by November. The toll road will connect the North Austin area with Interstate 10, hopefully easing traffic on Interstate 35.</p><p>But SH-130 was the victim of drought-induced damage to its structural integrity. Once-moist clay dried out and contracted, causing shifts in the ground underneath the asphalt and cracking the road on top. Parts of the 41-mile stretch of road between Mustang Ridge and Seguin need to be redone and preventative measures are being taken to keep the damage from reoccurring.</p><p>SH-130 is being constructed by a private company, acting as a proxy for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.txdot.gov/">Texas Department of Transportation</a>. Chris Lippinpott is the spokesman for the State Highway 130 Concession Company, the organization in charge of the design, construction, finance, operation, and maintenance of the highway. Lippincott says the cost of the road will total nearly $1.325 billion.</p><p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:54:34 +0000 Kelly Connelly 4692 at http://kut.org Drought Takes Toll on State Highway 130 Another I-35 Accident Closed Lanes Earlier Today http://kut.org/post/another-i-35-accident-closed-lanes-earlier-today <p>Authorities shut down the north and southbound lanes on Interstate 35 earlier this afternoon, after a pickup truck hit a small propane tank trunk just south of Slaughter Lane.</p><p>&ldquo;The pick up truck caught on fire and there was a small leak from the propane tank,&rdquo; said Veneza Aguinaga, a senior police officer at the Austin Police Department.&nbsp; &ldquo;It is typical protocol to shut down a road if we feel there is a threat to citizens.&rdquo;</p><p> Tue, 01 May 2012 21:49:37 +0000 Jillian Schantz Patrick 4138 at http://kut.org Another I-35 Accident Closed Lanes Earlier Today City Continues to Seek Input on I-35 Traffic http://kut.org/post/city-continues-seek-input-i-35-traffic <p>The <em>Austin-American Statesman</em> <a href="http://www.statesman.com/news/local/a-better-drive-on-35-city-consultant-seeking-2240954.html" target="_blank">writes</a> about the City of Austin&rsquo;s continuing efforts to improve highway traffic through its I-35 Corridor Development Program.</p><p>City of Austin voters approved funds in November 2010 for studying high traffic corridors in the city. Those studies would address short- and medium-term transportation improvements, including several intersections with I-35.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 21:39:15 +0000 Daniel Guerra 3857 at http://kut.org City Continues to Seek Input on I-35 Traffic TxDOT Hopes Toll Relief Will Improve Traffic on I-35 http://kut.org/post/txdot-hopes-toll-relief-will-improve-traffic-i-35 <p>The Texas Department of Transportation is slashing tolls for trucks on two highways around Austin in hopes that long-haul drivers will skip Interstate 35. From December 21 to January 4, all trucks on the SH 130/SH 45 E tollway will be charged the rate for a normal passenger vehicle.</p><p>In some cases, that&rsquo;s more than two-thirds cheaper, saving some truckers almost $20.</p><p>&ldquo;I hope these temporary rates will encourage large trucks and other through traffic to take SH 130 and SH 45 SE to bypass Austin-area traffic, resulting in greater travel time savings and less congestion on I-35,&rdquo; TxDOT&rsquo;s executive director Phil Wilson <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/275009-news-release-txdot-offers-truck-toll-promotion.html">said in a news release.&nbsp;</a></p><p> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 16:42:10 +0000 Nathan Bernier 3235 at http://kut.org TxDOT Hopes Toll Relief Will Improve Traffic on I-35 I-35 and Ben White Interchange To Reopen Completely Dec. 12 http://kut.org/post/i-35-and-ben-white-interchange-reopen-completely-dec-12 <p>In about a dozen days, you&rsquo;ll be able to drive from I-35 to Ben White Boulevard and vice versa in any direction without having to get onto the frontage road.&nbsp;An 18-month project to complete interchanges between the two thoroughfares will be completed December 12.</p><p>Currently, three of the four new ramps have been completed. The last one will be opened with a ribbon cutting a week from Monday with State Sen. Kirk Watson, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, and the Texas Department of Transportation&rsquo;s Austin District engineer Carlos Lopez.</p><p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:43:04 +0000 Nathan Bernier 3104 at http://kut.org I-35 and Ben White Interchange To Reopen Completely Dec. 12 Saturday Night Closures on I-35 at Ben White http://kut.org/post/saturday-night-closures-i-35-ben-white <p>You can already drive over some of the new constructed ramps of the I-35/Ben White interchange, but the job has yet to be completed. The Texas Department of Transportation says crews will be pouring concrete on two parts of the spans late Saturday night. The area should be opened by 10 a.m. Sunday.</p><p>Here are the closures, courtesy of TxDOT:</p><p> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 16:44:21 +0000 Nathan Bernier 2736 at http://kut.org Saturday Night Closures on I-35 at Ben White How Would You Fix I-35? http://kut.org/post/how-would-you-fix-i-35 <p>It&rsquo;s one of Austin&rsquo;s favorite things to complain about: gridlock on the interstate. Just yesterday, we learned how the <a href="post/recession-may-have-eased-traffic-congestion-austin">average person wastes 38 hours a year</a> stuck in traffic in Austin. &nbsp;A good percentage of that is spent idling on that north-south thoroughfare.</p> Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:57:04 +0000 Nathan Bernier 2610 at http://kut.org How Would You Fix I-35? TxDOT Considering 75 MPH Speed Limits in Central Texas http://kut.org/post/txdot-considering-75-mph-speed-limits-central-texas <p>A new law takes effect on Thursday that allows the Texas Department of Transportation to raise speed limits from 70 mph to 75 mph on any highway, as long as doing so would be &ldquo;reasonable and safe.&rdquo; And while the limits won&rsquo;t be increased on September 1, a TxDOT spokesman says several roads in the Austin-area are likely to see their limits increased in the near future.</p><p>&ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t say that it&rsquo;s firm yet, but I would say that it&rsquo;s a reasonable expectation that those are the areas we will convert, especially the interstate,&rdquo; TxDOT spokesman John Hurt told KUT News. &ldquo;Our speed studies indicate that people are already driving that speed limit now.&rdquo;</p><p>Hurt said these Central Texas roads are among those under consideration for higher speed limits: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 21:15:36 +0000 Nathan Bernier 2358 at http://kut.org TxDOT Considering 75 MPH Speed Limits in Central Texas