TxDOT eyes I-35 cap-and-stitch covers as means to reconnect east-west Austin

As the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) refines the $5.6 billion I-35 Capital Express Central project in Austin, it is pursuing strategies to lessen the divide created when the central portion of Interstate 35 was built atop East Avenue in the 1950s.

The city of Austin is a partner in the project, working with TxDOT to increase safety, maximize the movement of people, goods, and services on the corridor and increase east-west connectivity across the highway.

As TxDOT considers lowering the central portion of I-35 through downtown Austin, the opportunity exists for the city of Austin to create “caps,” or decks covering the highway that can reclaim that property as public space, and “stitches,” or wide bridges that would add enhanced east-west connections across I-35.

A panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute commissioned by the Downtown Austin Alliance has created recommendations for some of these caps and stitches. Partners on this project are seeking out community input before proposing locations and uses.

The I-35 Capital Express Central project proposes to add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from U.S. Highway 290 East to State Highway 71/Ben White Boulevard. Managed lanes are proposed in high-congestion areas where the right of way is limited.

Source: Strategic Partnerships

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