Updates on key transportation stories
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2 0 2 1 S P E C I A L E D I T I O N
OTHER PROJECTS TO FOLLOW IN 2021 While these projects have not yet started construction, they will be moving forward in 2021 for South Austin residents to keep an eye on.
TOP STORIES OF 2021
OakHill Parkway project scheduled formid-year groundbreaking, but lawsuit aims to scale it back
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A $677.1 million highway project that was initially scheduled to break ground in 2020 is now set to begin in the middle of 2021, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. However, the project will only proceed as planned if the state wins an ongoing lawsuit against a group of local residents pushing for a dierent design. The Oak Hill Parkway project would expand the roadway in a stretch of Southwest Austin near the intersections of Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71 to two to three main lanes and two to three frontage road lanes in each direction. TxDOT says the design will deliver much-needed trac relief in an area the Texas A&M Transportation Institute ranked as the 43rd most congested roadway in the state in 2020. The lawsuit led by the Save Barton Creek Association, Save Oak Hill and other neighborhood groups argues the 12-lane design TxDOT has proposed would “divide Oak Hill for generations.” The groups are putting forth a dierent design, which they call Livable Oak Hill, that proposes six lanes at grade level, which they say will provide more connectivity to the region and better access to businesses while still addressing trac. The two sides entered mediation in November, but those eorts ceased in mid-January, according to both TxDOT and Save Barton Creek Association president Angela Richter. “I urge TxDOT to adopt the community-driven design and use the millions that would be saved for other needed transportation projects in our region,” Travis County
The Oak Hill Parkway project would expand portions of Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71 to 12 lanes in order to address trac concerns near the Y at Oak Hill.
MoPac South After the project that could add toll lanes on MoPac was on hold for three years, Mike Heiligenstein, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority executive director, said progress is once again being made. According to Heiligenstein, the Mobility Authority will schedule public input meetings likely around the middle of 2021 before it nalizes an environmental study for the project area. Timeline: construction could begin in 2024 Cost: $540 million Funding source: Mobility Authority toll revenue bonds, federal loans
RENDERING COURTESY TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Commissioner Brigid Shea said in a news release. Meanwhile, workers in the area are preparing for construction, drilling into the ground to gather information about soil and rock features, installing fencing and relocating a transmission line.
SouthAustin I35work set towrap up in 2021 After nearly ve years of construction, a twice-delayed project to reconstruct the William Cannon Drive and Stassney Lane bridges across I-35 is set to nish in the middle of 2021, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The $78.8 million project also improved ramps on and o I-35 in the area. According to TxDOT, the nal work to take place will include constructing curbs and gutters, installing shared-use paths and paving the main lanes. The project was initially supposed to be completed by the end of 2020, but it was pushed back in November. When it is completed, this will be the end of a long period of construction along the highway for South Austin drivers. A separate three-year, $42.6 million project to reconstruct the Oltorf Street bridge and improve entrance and exit rams wrapped up in June 2020.
I-35 Capital Express South This project would add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 between SH 45 SE and Hwy. 71. The next step for the Texas Department of Transportation will be a public hearing tentatively scheduled for this spring. At that meeting, TxDOT will present its proposed design and environmental assessment for residents to review and provide feedback. The design process is set to nish in 2022, at which point construction can begin. Timeline: construction could begin in 2022 Cost: $300 million Funding source: TxDOT
A nearly ve-year project to improve I35 in the area of William Cannon Drive and Stassney Lane is set to nish in mid-2021.
NICHOLAS CICALECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • JANUARY 2021
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