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




MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The building would be used as a 15,000-square-foot real estate office near Stearns Lane. (Site plan courtesy Townbridge Homes)
New office building could be headed to W. Hwy. 290 in South Austin

The building would be used as a 15,000 square-foot real estate office near Stearns Lane.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

The city of Austin has sent three samples of algae from Lady Bird Lake to The University of Texas to test them for toxins. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of Texas researchers will test Lady Bird Lake algae for harmful toxins

Last summer, five dogs died in Lady Bird Lake after coming into contact with the toxic blue-green algae.

A photo of Del Valle ISD's Cardinal stadium
Del Valle ISD approves Tesla incentives, paving way for possible Travis County agreement

The school district's July 9 vote could yield Tesla around $46.4 million in tax abatements if the company chooses Travis County as its next factory site.

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic as of July 9. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County tops 700 new COVID-19 cases for second straight day July 9

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

An employee at Terry Black's Barbecue in Austin works in a mask May 1. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin’s new law: Follow health authority rules or face $2,000 penalty

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott is set to publish new orders mandating masks and social distancing this week.

Big Sky Ranch community sign
700 homes now for sale in Dripping Springs’ new Big Sky Ranch community

The new community is located near Founders Memorial Park.

A photo of the exterior of Epic Fun
South Austin entertainment center reopens with revamped health and safety measures

Epic Fun is fighting to keep its family-friendly offerings going despite economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's July 2 executive order, the University Interscholastic League is requiring the use of facial coverings when practical to do so for all summer activity participants, among other guidelines. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
UIL releases guidelines for conducting summer activities during COVID-19 pandemic

The University Interscholastic League released udpated guidelines for schools conducting summer activities such as sports training and marching band practices on July 8.