CAMPO’s governing body approves additional $500 million for I-35 improvement project and more

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Correction: this story was updated May 7 to properly reflect the projects that were allotted funding.

The Transportation Policy Board, the governing body of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, voted unanimously May 6 to grant the Mobility35 Capital Express Project a total of $500 million in additional funding toward the project to revamp I-35 in Austin and other projects.

“In terms of giving an unequivocal statement to the chairman and the commission, I think it’s important that we do that today,” Mayor Steve Adler said before voting on the resolution, which was recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation Austin District and CAMPO staff.

In total, the project would cost $8.1 billion, with around $5.6 billion funding construction costs.

An additional $400 million of funding from the TPB will be directed toward the construction of new expressways from SH 45 North in Round Rock to SH 45 Southeast. The remaining $100 million will be split intersection improvements at RM 620 and Anderson Mill Road and new Toll 183A frontage roads. The commitment will be financed through Category 2 and 7 funding and is conditional upon Mobility35 receiving the balance of the funding required for the project from Texas Transportation Commission-directed sources.

CAMPO’s agenda materials distributed prior to their May 6 meeting stated the additional financial commitment would “serve as the reaffirmation that IH 35 is the top priority in the CAMPO region.”

Prior to the May 6 vote, the TPB and TxDOT had already collectively committed $805 million to the Mobility35 project.

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  1. A quick search of category 2 & 7 funds, stated on the TXDOT website, sounds like c2 is only allotted for HOV lanes, and c7 is only for maintenance; makes me think all this money will do is throw in a lane we then have to pay to use, and some new paint stripes. Do you arrive at a similar conclusion or is there more planning? As fast as Austin is growing, I think we need more than one HOV lane added. We need an expansion like Dallas with their new double decker portion of I-35.

    • Joe, you were likely looking at an old/outdated TxDOT manual when you found those funding category descriptions. They have been significantly revised in the last few years. Currently, Category 2 and Category 7 funds can be applied to a broad range of road projects in “metropolitan areas.” Go to the first link in the above story for a description of the I-35 project; it will involve building two lanes in each direction that may or may not be tolled.

  2. We need to fully cover the freeway with parks and green space as shown in the Reconnect Austin plan.

    Freeway projects are often a multibillon dollar taxpayer giveaway to contractors and invite more gridlock. We need to move people, not cars.

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Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing in 2017. Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio in Columbia, South Carolina before joining Community Impact in Austin.
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