Missed any of our articles from last week? Catch up on Community Impact’s coverage areas in the Austin netro from March 27-31.

I-35 North project breaks ground

Slated to add a main lane in each direction, create a diverging diamond interchange and expand frontage roads, the project on I-35 from Hwy. 290 East to SH 45 N has raised concerns for residents and businesses throughout the project who ultimately look forward to its completion in 2029.

The need for the project arose from studies showing I-35 as one of the most congested roads in Texas, said Bradley Wheelis, a public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation. Project funding was approved in September, and comes from TxDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the region’s transportation planning group.

Read the full story by Grace Dickens.

Preview the upcoming Dell Children’s Medical Center North scheduled to open April 27

Located at the corner of Avery Ranch Boulevard and 183A, the 187,000-square-foot hospital has four floors dedicated to various areas of pediatric health care and treatment.

On the first floor is a Level 3 trauma center with 18 emergency bays, two trauma bays, an imaging center and an outpatient retail pharmacy. Operating rooms, endoscopy suites and a sleep lab are all located on the second floor of the hospital.

A total of 36 hospital beds will be located on the hospital’s third floor, along with a Ronald McDonald House two-bedroom suite and family respite space.

Read the full story by Zacharia Washington.

Austin Parks Foundation to host playdates, movies in the park

The Austin Parks Foundation will host free playdates and movie nights in local parks from April through June. Here is a look at what each event involves and how to participate.

Playdates in the Park

The Austin Parks Foundation will host playdates at various local parks. As part of the Playdates in the Park series running through May, the events involve story time, crafts, singing, exercise and more to get children active and support development. Events begin at 10 a.m.
  • April 12: Garrison District Park, 6001 Menchaca Road, Austin
  • April 29: Alderbrook Pocket Park, 12444 Lamplight Village Ave., Austin
  • May 10: Armadillo Neighborhood Park, 910 Armadillo Road, Austin
Read the full story by Grace Dickens.

Williamson County mulls cost-sharing for emergency dispatch services

Members of the Williamson County Commissioners Court and emergency services officials have been discussing a proposal to have other entities that receive dispatch services from the county share in the cost for those services.

More than 20 noncounty agencies are dispatched through Williamson County Emergency Services. For the last couple of years, officials have been looking at ways for those entities to share the cost of emergency dispatch services and related technology, but the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the initiative. Now, officials are resuming talks about ways to shoulder the load.

Read the full story by Grant Crawford.

Sentinel Landscape program uses conservation to protect Camp Bullis, other military sites

For more than 100 years, the U.S. Air Force’s Camp Bullis on San Antonio’s north side has been home to military training operations that took advantage of its more rural location.

Over time, homes, businesses and a booming population began to encroach on the camp and put at risk the military’s ability to succeed at its mission: effectively training today’s men and women who serve.

Now with the help of the Sentinel Landscape designation, efforts are underway to help area landowners preserve nearly 1 million acres around the camp, protect water and wildlife, and reduce noise and light pollution.

Read the full story by Edmond Ortiz.