The Texas Department of Transportation is holding a virtual open house to gather community input on future improvements to I-35 between Austin and San Antonio through March 8.

The gist

A Planning and Environmental Linkage study is evaluating potential improvements along I-35 from SH 45 near Buda to Cibolo Valley Drive, according to a news release. The study will focus on how to best connect the I-35 Capital Express South project in Travis County to the I-35 Northeast Expansion project in Guadalupe County and identify projects that can be developed in the future.

Three in-person open houses on the study were hosted by TxDOT in Buda, New Braunfels and San Marcos. According to TxDOT, the purpose is “to explore transportation alternatives to address the growing safety, mobility and connectivity needs along the corridor due to the projected population and employment growth in the region.”

The backstory

At a recent transportation summit held by regional and state leaders in San Marcos on Feb. 20, Marc D. Williams, the executive director of TxDOT, said the state is seeing about 1,300 people move in every day, and a significant number of that total chooses the Austin-San Antonio corridor.

“The work will never conclude on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio. I can say that pretty, pretty definitively, and I think I've heard some groans in the room when I say that,” Williams said. “The Texas Department of Transportation [will] work with partners like these metropolitan planning organizations ... along with local level folks of the counties and the cities to understand your needs, and to help effectively address those, and we're getting a kickback, that effort also. There's gonna be—there's information available on our websites about the timing and the location of some of the public what I would call listening sessions, if you will, as we begin that process.”