Funding Coming Together For I-35 Capital Express Central Expansion

The Texas Transportation Commission is set to vote in August to include a $307 million funding gap for the Interstate 35 Capital Express widening project in Austin in the state’s Unified Transportation Program (UTP).

Funding for the $4.9 billion Central segment of the project is coming from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). TxDOT officials said financial commitments are in place to completely fund the Central section, but funds have yet to be transferred.

As financing is secured, TxDOT is making plans to launch a public input process this fall for the Central segment that proposes to add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction from U.S. 290 East to SH 71/Ben White Boulevard. TxDOT is evaluating a variety of design options to add the non-tolled managed lanes.

TxDOT also is planning to reconstruct intersections and bridges to increase bridge clearances and east-west mobility. In addition, the department aims to improve bicycle and pedestrian use along I-35 frontage roads and at east-west crossings.

A final schematic and environmental study are expected in late 2023, and final design and contractor selection are anticipated in late 2024 for the Central segment. Construction could begin as early as 2025.

Total project cost is estimated at $5.6 billion, including $400 million for the North segment that proposes to add one non-tolled managed lane in each direction along I-35 from SH 45 North to US 290 East.

The project’s South section is estimated to cost $300 million to possibly add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from SH 71/Ben White Boulevard to SH 45 Southeast.

Source: Strategic Partnerships

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