TxDOT seeks feedback on adding new lanes to I-35 at October open houses

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to add one to two lanes in each direction on I-35 in Travis County.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to add one to two lanes in each direction on I-35 in Travis County.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to invest $700 million to add one to two lanes in each direction on I-35 in Central Texas.

TxDOT plans to add one nontolled, managed lane in each direction on I-35 in a northern section SH 45 N. and Hwy. 290 and add two nontolled, managed lanes in each direction in a southern section between Hwy. 71/Ben White Boulevard and SH 45 SE. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and have a total cost of $700 million.

“It’s going to have a huge immense impact overall because it’s first going to provide better mobility north and south of our central section, and then it’s going to provide other routes around [downtown] during the construction of [the] central [section],” said Susan Fraser, the program manager for TxDOT’s My35 project.

Dubbed the Capital Express, these new lanes will be restricted such as for high-occupancy vehicles, transit and emergency vehicles. Fraser said TxDOT is still looking into the technology that would verify if a vehicle has more than one person.

“During the busiest peak times we find a lot of the volume is single drivers,” Fraser said. “Our hope is with the HOV lanes we will encourage carpooling [and using] transit and that will help add the capacity we need [by freeing up the main lanes].”

Funding for the Capital Express North and South projects is coming partially through the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is responsible for doling out state and federal transportation dollars to six counties in Central Texas. In May, the agency’s policy board, comprising local elected officials and transportation representatives, awarded $400 million in state and federal funding to the project.

TxDOT has not yet decided on how to add two lanes in each direction to the Central Austin section between Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71, Fraser said. The estimated cost for the central section is about $5 billion, she said.

“It is still a possibility that [the upper decks] could come down,” she said. “We are looking in that section at possibly a tunnel, so that’s where the capacity would go.”

For the north and south sections, TxDOT is working on traffic modeling, preliminary environmental work and detailed designs. As part of the public involvement process for the north and south sections, TxDOT is hosting two upcoming open house events for residents to review and comment on the proposed projects. An open house for the central section will be in spring 2020.

Open house events

Capital Express South

  • Thursday, Oct. 17

  • 5:30-7:30 p.m.

  • Akins High School, 10701 S. First St., Austin

Capital Express North

  • Thursday, Oct. 24

  • 5:30-7:30 p.m.

  • John B. Connally High School, 13212 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin

By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


Photo of boarded-up Sixth Street bars
With COVID-19 projections 'bleak' through Thanksgiving, Travis County keeps bars closed

Statistical models from the University of Texas show a 92% chance the pandemic is worsening, but the increase in cases and hospitalizations have leveled off in the last few days.

Slab BBQ owner Raf Robinson said the payroll protection program saved his restaurant. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
'I just need to pay the rent:' Austin small businesses in survival mode are doing everything in their power to outlast the pandemic

From selling inventory to flipping their business models to changing a yoga studio into a coworking space, small business owners are trying to avoid adding their names to the growing list of locally owned Austin institutions that have shut down.

Customers can order Goodstock Angus and Goodstock Black Label beef, including ribeye steaks, strip steaks, filets and ground chuck. (Courtesy Nolan Ryan brands)
Nolan Ryan expands Round Rock-based butcher business and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Burnet Road at West Braker Lane
Corridor projects along South Lamar Boulevard, Burnet Road will break ground by early 2021

Two corridor roadway projects approved in the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond are moving forward after recently receiving environmental clearances.

Screen shot of a Zoom board meeting
Dripping Springs ISD Superintendent Todd Washburn resigns; Brett Springston is named interim replacement

Less than a year after he was hired, Superintendent Todd Washburn is departing Dripping Springs ISD.

An "I Voted" sticker is left outside the Northwest Recreation Center in Austin, one of 37 early voting polling places open in Travis County. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than half of all Travis County voters have cast their ballots, exceeding early voting turnout percentage in 2016

More than 448,000 votes have been cast in Travis County. Early voting closes on Oct. 30.

Austin ISD trustees met Oct. 26, discussing in-person learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Twice as many Austin elementary students have returned to campus compared to first day of in-person instruction, district says

Austin ISD will open its campuses to accommodate all students who request in-person instruction beginning Nov. 2.

Capital Metro released new renderings Oct. 26 of its proposed Project Connect expansion, which voters will decide Nov. 3. This rendering shows a Blue Line light rail train at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
In final week of early voting, here is what Austin residents should know about Project Connect

The proposition appears as a 237-word block of text near the end of the ballot but boils down to a simple question: Are voters for or against a significant expansion of local public transportation, paid for in part with property tax funds?

Photo of the facade of the Dripping Springs ISD administraton building
Dripping Springs ISD to discuss superintendent's potential resignation

An item on the board of trustee's Oct. 26 meeting agenda indicates consideration of a resignation agreement for Superintendent Todd Washburn.

Alex Wu (left) and Kevin Tran stand, social distanced, outside of Bao'd Up in Sunset Valley. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bao'd Up owners hope to make the traditional Chinese steamed buns a household name in Austin

The local chain has four locations, including one in Sunset Valley. Owner Alex Wu said as the franchise continues to grow, he hopes in a few years he will no longer have to explain what bao is.

Scott Friedeck, owner of The Graphic Guitar Guys, started working with guitars in 2011. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs small business owner Scott Friedeck got his big break in the music industry from George Strait

Friedeck's business, The Graphic Guitar Guys, creates custom wraps for guitars for artists to sell as merchandise.

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.