This year's planned work along nine segments of the city's major arterials, such as North Lamar Boulevard, Slaughter Lane, Burnet Road and Riverside Drive, stems from the $482 million dedicated to corridors out of the total $720 million 2016 bond. Money has already gone toward intersection and traffic signal updates, new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and other pathways. The corridor office said it remains on track to have all bond-backed projects completed or underway by 2024.
“We have over 20 critical safety and mobility improvements that we’ve already completed as part of this program. We will also be moving several of our larger design-bid-build projects into bid and construction this year," Corridor Program Office Director Mike Trimble told members of City Council's mobility committee March 10. "We are anticipating—between our [indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity] work, signals, bike and [pedestrian] projects, and other projects—about $150 million worth of work will go to bid and construction this year. That will bring us to about half of our program in bid and construction by the end of calendar year ."
According to the corridor office, work on Airport Boulevard north of 55th Street as well as on Burnet between Koenig Lane and White Horse Trail will be the first on tap in 2022. Trimble said awards for both projects will appear on council's April 7 agenda for possible approval, alongside a contract for general signal, bike and pedestrian updates on targeted corridors.
“It’s a real credit to the team working on these projects that we’re able to say we’ll be delivering these projects in accordance with our eight-year goal,” Trimble said in a statement. “But at the end of the day, the community and the outcomes are the driving force behind what we’re doing, and we’re committed to delivering these improvements as soon as possible.”
The work, mainly using 2016 bond money, comes as the city also seeks to build up its mobility spending with support from the federal infrastructure package passed in 2021. Transportation staff told council they are seeking millions of dollars for additional projects throughout the city as that funding is doled out nationwide.
Among the largest projects, the city is eyeing to move on with federal backing is the Southeast Austin Connector, an expansion of the long-awaited Bergstrom Spur urban trail that would connect South Austin to the airport area along an abandoned rail line. Staff said the original spur project proposal also now includes improved connections to the Country Club Creek Trail and South Pleasant Valley Drive. An application for a $20 million federal match on the project is heading to council next month.