March 5, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning a major overhaul of how traffic moves through Austin on Interstate 35 and it hasn't been sitting well with the public and Travis County Commissioners. 

The Commissioners, meeting this past week, laid out a series of changes they want TxDOT to incorporate in the I-35 total makeover. Included in the list is for TxDOT to look into is investing in rail systems for moving people between Austin and San Antonio to reduce vehicular traffic on the busy corridor.

The TxDOT I-35 Capital Express Central project is an 8-mile long effort that includes removing the upper decks of the elevated section north of downtown , lowering roadways and expanding the roadway footprint.Public testimony at the commissioner's meeting included comments that expanding highways doesn't work and just encourages more driving, plans will increase pollution, and the project could displace more than 100 properties including homes and businesses off the tax rolls.

According to the TxDOT website The I-35 Capital Express Central project proposes to add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from US 290 East to SH 71/Ben White Boulevard. Managed lanes are proposed in high-congestion areas where right of way is limited. Managed lanes control access by placing restrictions on use.

Plans include reconstructing intersections and bridges, increasing bridge clearances and east/west mobility and Improving bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along I-35 frontage roads and at east/west crossings.

There were no plans for dedicated right-of-way for transit bus or rail operations in the I-35 corridor.  

 The I-35 Capital Express Program website has the latest information on the project.