TxDOT to fight lawsuit against I-35 safety and mobility improvements through downtown Austin
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TxDOT to fight lawsuit against I-35 safety and mobility improvements through downtown Austin

Jan. 27, 2024

AUSTIN – In response to a lawsuit brought by Rethink35 and other opponents of the I-35 Capital Express Central project, TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams signaled the agency plans to vigorously defend the much-needed project.

“This is a project designed with the community and for the community,” said Williams. “We have carefully followed and even exceeded the environmental and legal requirements to advance this project. We don’t believe that the actions of these opponents have merit. TxDOT intends to continue to press forward to deliver the I-35 Capital Express Central project.”

Extensive collaboration with citizens, community groups, and elected officials over many years and comments from more than 18,000 community members were incorporated in the project’s design.

  • Adding non-tolled high-occupancy vehicle managed lanes to encourage carpooling and accommodate mass transit.
  • Creating boulevard-like frontage roads from Cesar Chavez Street to Dean Keeton Street.
  • Designing the project to accommodate and incorporate deck plazas, should they be funded by our partners.
  • Removing upper decks and lowering the mainlanes between Holly Street and Airport Boulevard.
  • Widening east-west bridges to include 30 feet on each side for safety buffer and shared-use paths. Adding shared-use paths on both sides of I-35 throughout the corridor.
  • Constructing new bicycle and pedestrian crossings at 3rd Street, 4th Street, 15th Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and 51st Street.

“TxDOT design and environmental teams undertook the most rigorous environmental process to ensure we put forward the best plan that meets safety and mobility needs while keeping community values a priority,” added Williams. “The selected alternative is the result of hard work and a painstaking effort to reduce adverse impacts.”

The Austin area is expected to see more than $10 billion in economic development over the next three decades. Improvements to I-35 are critical for the local, regional, and national economy.

“The traffic demand is here and will continue to grow as more people move to the Austin area to take advantage of the booming job market and quality of life that Central Texas offers,” said Williams. “It’s our duty to mitigate congestion and work to advance these needed safety and mobility improvements on this critical corridor.”