Tue July 1, 2014
The $400 Million in I-35 Fixes That Could Be Bundled With Urban Rail
Much attention has been placed on Austin City Council’s unanimous vote to endorse an urban rail plan for Austin. But $400 million of a proposed transportation bond that could reach voters in November is for road improvements as well.
Here's a breakdown of spending proposals, culled from the 2014 Austin Strategic Mobility Plan:
The largest chunk of the approved road package is $120 million to improve downtown access from I-35, with new access ramps and separate lanes for local and pass-through traffic. This portion would also cover improvements to an interchange at Riverside Drive.
The next biggest piece is $90 million of proposed spending would replace the overpasses at Oltorf, Stassney and William Cannon, relocating interstate lanes, adding U-turn lanes, and further safety improvements.
Smaller portions of the $400 million proposed for roads would include similar improvements at the 183/Riverside interchange, along with new signals and new technology for 24/7 maintenance operations as well as mobile traffic updates and electronic signage.
A previous item proposing $130 million to redo the I-35/183 interchange is no longer part of the proposed bond proposition – the city will be looking elsewhere to fund that project.
If set for the ballot by council this summer, and approved by voters in November, project construction is expected to begin in 2015 and carry through 2019.