"One of the top most congested highways in the entire state of Texas" is getting a major expansion in hopes of reducing congestion.
The Texas Department of Transportation announced this plan this week, FOX 7 reports. The "giant" expansion project will specifically focus on the stretch of I-35 from US 290 E to State Highway 71. "This project has been envisioned probably for two decades. This stretch of I-35 has not been expanded since the mid-1970s," said TxDOT District Engineer Tucker Ferguson.
These improvements, which are a "long time coming" include:
- 2 non-toll HOV lanes in each direction
- Rebuilt cross-strait bridges with bike and pedestrian accommodations
- Shared use paths for bikes and pedestrians on both sides of I-35 N and S
- Realigned frontage roads for a boulevard-style system
This expansion project will hopefully "aid with future congestion issues." Tucker said, "We want to make sure that we address the bottlenecks here in Central Austin and expand for future growth."
TxDOT is looking to receive public feedback on its I-35 expansion plan draft over the next two months before getting environmental clearance by the summer. Construction is expected to begin in about a year and a half, Tucker says.
"We're breaking this up into five or six different separate construction projects. Each of them will take between three and four years, typically for these types of projects, and they'll be staggered over the next couple of years, so in total, we hope to be finished by 2032-2033 timeframe," Tucker said.