“We only get one shot to rebuild and improve I-35 through downtown Austin, so we have to do as much as is reasonable within the existing footprint to enhance mobility and lower it,” said Senator Kirk Watson. “I want to thank TxDOT for continuing their hard work and honoring what’s important to our community.”
Last Monday, at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Regional Growth Summit, Senator Kirk Watson, along with TxDOT and other local officials, announced a plan to add two managed express lanes in each direction along 33 miles of I-35 from Round Rock to Buda as part of an enhanced I-35 project they're calling "Capital Express". The proposal also includes lowering I-35 through downtown Austin and potentially removing the upper decks from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Airport Boulevard.
"Adding two managed express lanes in each direction will require extensive reconstruction of I-35, providing the opportunity to add additional enhancements to the project," TxDOT in a press release last Tuesday. "The Capital Express project also includes operational improvements such as longer entrance and exit ramps, intersection bypass lanes, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements."
Downtown Alliance is proud of the work Senator Watson has done to innovatively improve mobility in Austin and Central Texas with the lowering of I-35, which has been a barrier dividing the east and west sides of town. His leadership has allowed for the opportunity to reconnect our community, which is critical in shaping the vision and future of downtown Austin.
Public input provided at previous I-35 meetings, open houses, and workshops will be incorporated into the new project. Opportunities to provide additional input will be available at open houses scheduled for spring 2018.