On Nov. 8, Austin voters approved the city’s $720 million mobility bond proposition, paving the way for more road construction, planning and congestion relief.

About $482 million of that bond will go toward implementing projects in seven completed corridor studies of Burnet Road; East Riverside Drive; Guadalupe Street; and North and South Lamar, Airport and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. Funds would also go toward studying an eighth corridor on either Slaughter Lane or William Cannon Drive or both.

In a Nov. 9 memo, Assistant City Manager Robert Goode outlined to city staffers the next steps for creating a corridor implementation plan and coordinating oversight of the bond.

Mobility bond to first fund safe school routes, sidewalks“I would anticipate in the first year we’re going to see a lot of sidewalks and safe passages for kids to school because those will be the most shovel-ready,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “While that work is being done, I see the community being involved in the discussion in how we best spend this [bond] money in the six- to eight-year period of time so it’s a decision we make together as a community.”

Staffers will come to the council by the end of the year with a midyear budget amendment to fund additional staff and resources as well as fund construction of the first few projects, according to the city memo.

“Once the city has conducted the necessary implementation planning, staff will return to council in early 2017 for a second midyear budget amendment request to fund additional bond implementation, including work in all categories—regional, corridor and local mobility,” Goode wrote.

In 2012, voters also approved a bond that included $15 million to study Burnet and North Lamar. The city is hosting meetings Dec. 7-8 to provide residents with an update on recommended projects in those corridor plans.

“This [bond] is now the next stage for that,” Adler said. “I would see us pulling all of the resources and pointing all in the same direction in us developing this master plan for executing the bond.”

Adler said the corridor implementation plan would also coordinate with other projects from the city’s public works department to avoid tearing up roads more than once.

“There’s no question that this bond does not have enough money to do all the things the city needs to do,” he said. “This is a start and enables us to do work on what are some of the most congested corridors we have in the city.”

The city of Austin will issue $250 million in bonds without raising the debt service tax rate and issue the remaining $470 million by raising that tax rate by an estimated 2.25 cents per $100 taxable valuation.