RECENT TRANSPORTATION UPDATES
Light-rail line in North Austin added to Project Connect plan
In March, Capital Metro staff presented its $9.6 billion Project Connect plan to revamp Austin’s public transportation network to Austin City Council and the public transit agency’s board of directors.
The plan would add two light-rail lines connecting downtown to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and areas of North Austin and South Austin, among other expansions.
Capital Metro President and CEO Randy Clarke and Assistant City Manager Gina Fiandaca said in a May 6 memo to City Council and the transit agency’s board of directors that Capital Metro staff have tweaked that initial plan.
The plan now includes a third light-rail line, which would run between downtown and the Austin Community College Highland Campus, passing by St. David’s Medical Center, the east side of the University of Texas campus and the Texas Capitol.
Capital Metro calls this 6-mile route the Gold Line. It was included in Capital Metro’s March presentation to city council and the board, but initially, staff envisioned it as a bus line in a dedicated lane. In the memo, Clarke and Fiandaca said the adjustment was made due to new population projections along the Gold Line corridor.
Capital Metro staff also adjusted plans along the existing commuter rail line, the Red Line, which runs between Leander and downtown Austin. According to the memo, $380 million of planned work was scrapped because it did not lead to enough additional ridership to justify the cost over 30 years.
Read the full story here.
Mobility upgrades coming to two North Austin intersections
New improvement projects designed to increase mobility and pedestrian and cyclist safety will break ground the first week of June.
Both projects, located at the intersection of West Braker Lane and Stonelake Boulevard and the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road, will take approximately six months to complete, according to the Austin Transportation Department.
These intersection improvements, totaling a combined $2.45 million, are funded as part of the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond.
Work at the intersection of North Lamar and Payton Gin, located approximately 1 mile north of the North Lamar Transit Center, will substantially change sidewalks and crossing paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
“This intersection particularly has a record of a lot of pedestrian crashes, including fatalities,” said Amica Bose, project leader for the Austin Transportation Department.
High-visibility crosswalks with reflective striping will be added at this intersection across each roadway.
Improvements at the intersection of West Braker and Stonelake in North Austin will widen a shared-use path along West Braker, and existing bicycle-only lanes will be merged onto the shared-use path.
Read the full story here.
I-35 flyover construction
TxDOT crews in April set 72 support beams and poured five deck spans for three flyovers. Work continues on the new flyovers and the U-turn on St. Johns Avenue bridge throughout May and June.
Timeline: January 2018-mid-2021
Parmer Lane diverging diamond
Crews completed widening of lanes along the westbound Parmer Lane bridge. In May, similar work began along the eastbound Parmer bridge. New bridge beams were installed in late May.
Timeline: July 2019-mid-2021