City Council withdraws support for northern MoPac sound wall

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After re-polling residents near a proposed sound wall on MoPac, Austin City Council voted to tell the Texas Department of Transportation and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority that the city wishes withdraw its support of the construction of a northern portion of Sound Wall No. 3.

The vote was passed on consent at the Feb. 13 meeting and applies to the portion of the sound wall north of Bullard Drive.

In December 2013, the city council directed the city manager to re-poll homeowners and found that 58.3 percent of those that responded preferred no sound wall. The survey was sent to 14 eligible homeowners and 12 were returned.

According to the memo, if this result was part of the initial sound wall balloting, “it is presumed that Sound Wall No. 3 north of Bullard Drive would not have been recommended by CTRMA/TxDOT.”

Austin resident Ross Smith spoke on the item and suggested proposed that city build a cheaper version of the wall so residents could have a taste of what the proposed structure would be like.

“If it turns out it is a dud, there’s no long-term harm,” Smith said. “If it turns out that it works, then you can go back to the neighborhoods and have the discussion of whether it would work for them aesthetically. First, take the time to get some hard data before making your decision.”

The City Manager will come back to City Council on Feb. 27 with steps to make the withdraw of support official.

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