Proposed Corridor Construction Program outlines how Austin plans to spend $482M on 9 key roadways

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The city of Austin released its proposed construction plan Wednesday on how to spend $482 million from the 2016 Mobility Bond Program on nine key corridors.

Voters approved the funding in November 2016, and Austin City Council could approve the proposed Corridor Construction Program on March 22 after a council briefing slated for March 20.

“In 2018 you’ll see us bring that proposal to Council and move into the implementation phase for design and then construction later in the future,” said Mike Trimble, director of the Corridor Program Office.

The proposed improvements in the plan are based on existing preliminary engineering done through the corridor studies completed in previous years by city staffers. Those studies also included public input, but the city will seek more input on the draft corridor plan.

Two corridors in South Austin—William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane—were added after the approval of the bond, and the city already wrapped up the preliminary engineering studies, Trimble said.

“We [worked]at an accelerated pace to get those done because we have construction dollars,” Trimble told Community Impact Newspaper in January. “We will incorporate the draft recommendations into the draft Corridor Construction Plan.”

The total dollar amount to implement all projects laid out in the corridors studies is about $1.4 billion, so the Corridor Construction Program won’t be able to fund all improvements.

AURA, a grassroots urbanist organization in Austin, released a statement Thursday, calling the Corridor Construction Program good in many respects but missing a key feature on the Guadalupe corridor, also called The Drag.

“It is a huge mistake and a disservice to transit riders not to give buses priority on The Drag now while we’re still planning routes for light rail,” AURA board Chairwoman Susan Somers said in a statement. “With some lines of paint and some intersection fixes, the city could improve service for half the people going down The Drag during rush hour. Transit priority is a good first step while light rail plans are being finalized.”

The Corridor Construction Plan outlines improvements along:

  • Airport Boulevard from North Lamar Boulevard to US 183
  • Burnet Road from Koenig Lane to MoPac
  • East MLK Jr. Boulevard/FM 969 from US 183 to Decker Lane
  • East Riverside Drive from I-35 to SH 71
  • Guadalupe Street from MLK to West 29th Street
  • North Lamar from US 183 to Howard Lane
  • Slaughter Lane from FM 1826 to Vertex Boulevard
  • South Lamar Boulevard from Riverside to Ben White Boulevard
  • William Cannon Drive from Southwest Parkway to McKinney Falls Parkway

In the draft plan, city staffers are proposing:

  • 30 miles of pavement rehabilitation
  • 120 traffic signal upgrades
  • 30 intersection improvements
  • 75 miles of sidewalk or shared-use path upgrades to be compliant with the Americans with
    Disabilities Act
  • 40 miles of bicycle lanes
  • 40 new mid-block signals for pedestrians

Residents may view more details of the proposed improvements, including specific locations for some upgrades, here.

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Amy Denney
Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.
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