State seeks public comment on $4.9 billion I-35 project through downtown Austin

The Texas Department of Transportation is gathering public feedback and going through environmental review as it prepares to start work on a $4.9 billion project to add lanes to I-35 through downtown Austin. (Community Impact staff)
The Texas Department of Transportation is gathering public feedback and going through environmental review as it prepares to start work on a $4.9 billion project to add lanes to I-35 through downtown Austin. (Community Impact staff)

The Texas Department of Transportation is gathering public feedback and going through environmental review as it prepares to start work on a $4.9 billion project to add lanes to I-35 through downtown Austin. (Community Impact staff)

The first major overhaul of I-35 in more than 40 years is coming soon, and before it starts construction, the Texas Department of Transportation will seek out feedback from the public.

TxDOT will open a virtual meeting from Nov. 12 through Dec. 12 where members of the public can submit their comments for the official record.

Comments can be submitted in four ways starting Nov. 12.

The $4.9 billion project was made official in February when the Texas Transportation Commission authorized the funding for the work. It is now in a stage of environmental study and public feedback that is anticipated to last until late 2023. TxDOT is projected to start construction as early as 2025.

The project will add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction—but the design will not be finalized until he end of the public feedback and environmental study phase. TxDOT officials have previously said that a variety of possibilities are on the table, including taking down the upper decks between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Airport Boulevard and putting lanes underground through a portion of the city.

Two other projects totaling $700 million are set to begin construction in 2022 to add non-tolled, managed lanes to stretches of I-35 to the north and south of downtown Austin.


Editor's Note: A clarification was added to note that the project will add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction, but TxDOT is taking public feedback before deciding on scope or design.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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