The Texas Department of Transportation is hosting three events June 3–5 to inform the public about plans to add two lanes to I-35 in Travis County.



The two lanes, one in each direction between SH 45 N and SH 45 SE, has been dubbed the Future Transportation Corridor. TxDOT is in the midst of completing the Planning and Environmental Linkages, or PEL, study on those lanes. That study will be completed by the end of 2014.



The purpose of the PEL study is to establish the purpose and need of the new lanes, meaning TxDOT will determine whether they will be general-purpose, tolled or HOV lanes—or some other kind of travel lanes. The study will also consider what segments of the FTC could be constructed as standalone projects.



"The purpose of the PEL study is to identify how the FTC will look because it's constrained by space," spokeswoman Kelli Reyna said.



TxDOT is focusing efforts on I-35 in the Austin area because the segment from Hwy. 71 to US 183 ranked No. 1 on the state's most congested roadways list for 2013, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.



The FTC is part of TxDOT's proposed plan to improve mobility on I-35 in Travis County with short-term fixes. Estimated costs range from $1.5 billion–$2 billion, depending on whether the agency decides to depress the I-35 main lanes through the downtown core and place a cap over the top.



During the open house events, attendees can review a draft of the purpose and need for the FTC and proposed lane types. Attendees will be able to submit public comment and their own suggestions.



The June 3–5 meetings are the first round of events open to the public. All three meetings will be held from 5–7:30 p.m.:



  • June 3: Kealing Middle School Cafeteria, 1607 Pennsylvania Ave.

  • June 4: Akins High School Cafeteria, 10701 S. First St.

  • June 5: Frank Fickett Scout Training and Service Center, 12500 N. I-35

For residents who are unable to attend any of the events, a virtual open house is available online from June 5–15 at www.mobility35.org. Visit the website for more information on TxDOT's I-35 plans.