Home Meeting notice Public Notice: I-35 back in the spotlight: TxDOT prepares the next draft of its reconstruction plan – News

Public Notice: I-35 back in the spotlight: TxDOT prepares the next draft of its reconstruction plan – News


the Texas Department of Transportation is ready to present the next iteration of the Capital Express Central plan, the proposed massive reconstruction of an 8-mile stretch of I-35 through downtown Austin; a virtual meeting next week will give you a better idea of ​​what they and the city currently have in mind. Meanwhile, an ongoing virtual open house gives you the opportunity to weigh in on at least one aspect of the plan; the deadline for comments is this Saturday.

As you may recall, TxDOT presented preliminary design alternatives last summer and received significant pushback from the public and city and county officials, complaining that the draft plans s ‘deviated from the agency’s original’no taller, no wider“, and generally calling for main thoroughfares to be better separated from local traffic, and for access roads and crossings to be better integrated into the fabric of local streetscapes. Through the town centre, for example, planners hoped that the main thoroughfares would be underground, with parks, local streets, and pedestrian amenities covering much or all of what is now the freeway’s footprint: capping the highway, and sting Back Downtown with East Austin.

Well, TxDOT heard those concerns — they and the city‘s mobility staff say — and made significant changes to address them. “According to TxDOT, the modifications support multi-modal corridor improvements, prioritize use of the existing right-of-way, and improve bicycle and pedestrian access between the east and west sides of I-35,” according to a statement from the city this week. And a Jan. 7 memo to the Mayor and Austin City Council — sent jointly by Gina Fiandaca, Deputy City Manager for Mobility and TxDOT Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson – indicates that two entities “coordinate during weekly and monthly meetings” and describes some of the features of the revised plan: reduction of the speed of frontage roads; reconfigured feeder roads, particularly in the city centre; Locally Influenced Visual Enhancements (Live35), an aesthetic design program; and some degree of course and point. It also says they are “working on” other “possible design opportunities that could potentially improve the current project.”

You can see this memo here, but the public unveiling of this new draft plan will come in what TxDOT calls a VOICE CAPEX (Volunteer Opportunity in Community Engagement) working group meeting on Tuesday, January 25, 6-8 p.m. at the Austin Central Library, and broadcast live on Zoom; register and get more information about the plan at my35capex.com.

Meanwhile, the course and point discussion is moving along a somewhat parallel track, assuming that if TxDOT can design its construction to accommodate such a plan, the city will be responsible for developing, funding and implementing it. . “The City of Austin and Downtown Austin Alliance coordinate with TxDOT to build bridge plazas, or caps, and improved crossings, or stitches, on downtown I-35 to connect east and west Austin “, reads a separate statement from the city this week, and they are gathering comments from the public on what it should look like; see the information on the Austin Cap & Stitch project, or email [email protected] Survey responses are requested by Saturday, January 15.

Among all the other service cancellations and reductions in the city, the Austin Animal Center will be temporarily closed to the public on Sundays from January 23, “due to staffing issues related to COVID-19 and difficulty in filling vacancies”. And like many places, they are hiring to fill multiple vacancies; see info on austintexas.gov/austin-animal-center.

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