The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is gearing up to start construction on interstate 35 (I-35) expansion project near downtown Austin. This project received the go-ahead on Monday, signifying TxDOT’s ability to move forward with its plan to expand Interstate 35 in Austin, a venture expected to cost roughly $4.5 billion.
TxDOT has successfully completed crucial environmental paperwork, adhering to the regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act. This pivotal paperwork milestone paves the way for TxDOT’s next phase of action, involving finalizing the project’s design and undergoing thorough reviews.
Spanning approximately eight miles, the I-35 expansion project extends from U.S. Hwy. 290 East to SH 71 and Ben White Boulevard. The endeavor aims to introduce special lanes dedicated to vehicles with multiple occupants, exempt from tolls. Additionally, plans involve removing elevated sections of the road and lowering certain segments between Airport Boulevard and Lady Bird Lake, as well as Riverside Drive and Oltorf Street.
Construction start on Austin’s I-35 expansion project
Construction on I-35 expansion project is expected to start in mid-2024. According to TxDOT officials, the project will be executed in phases, with the first set of contracts, out of a total of six, expected to be open for bidding early next year. This sequential contract award approach will guide the project’s progress, with the entire construction journey anticipated to span about a decade.
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To accommodate the project’s requirements, a considerable amount of additional land, around 54 acres is required. Of this parcel, roughly three acres will be allocated for construction purposes throughout the ten-year construction period. An additional 25 acres, situated near Lady Bird Lake, will be utilized for storing and managing bridge construction equipment.
Simultaneously, construction work is already in progress for other segments of I-35 expansion project in Austin. The northbound portion, which began in March, and the southbound section, initiated in November of the previous year, collectively contribute to a broader endeavor projected to cost approximately $5.9 billion. Funding for these projects is a collaborative effort between TxDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. This investment underscores the commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure within Austin.