City and state transportation officials are holding an open house this afternoon to take public input of the first ideas to improve the I-35 corridor through Central Austin.
Voters approved a $90 million bond program designed to enhance regional mobility. One of the projects was to ease congestion along the freeway from U.S. 290 East to William Cannon Drive. According to Gary Schatz, assistant director and traffic engineer with the city's transportation department, that includes the elevated part of I-35 running through downtown Austin. But he's quick to add that any physical changes to the downtown stretch of freeway aren't likely.
"The money is just not available," says Schatz. "The community is not behind tearing down buildings, acquiring cemeteries, relocating graves, to really do a significant impact to all the properties adjacent to I-35. Anything we do would be constrained within it's current boundaries."
Schatz told KUT that the city is focusing on:
- ramps along the frontage roads
- intersections along frontage roads
- incident management
- traveler information-messaging systems
- possibly changing I-35 into 130 and vice versa.