AUSTIN (KXAN) —Project Connect will take about 13 years before it’s complete, but we are already starting to see some changes now.
Approved by voters in November, the massive transit undertaking is starting to inch forward. Capital Metro is already hard at work planning and preparing for two projects that we will see sooner rather than later — the Broadmoor and McKalla stations — both serving north Austin.
According to Capital Metro, construction will pick up on the Broadmoor station this winter with completion set for summer or fall of 2022. They are expecting to see about 240,000 boardings a year at this location, and it will replace the current Kramer station which Capital Metro says has experienced issues with parking.
The McKalla station will feed into Austin FC’s stadium, and it’s in the design phase with an expected groundbreaking at the end of 2021.
Capital Metro says Project Connect will do more than just connect the city.
“These large rail projects are also vehicles for job creation so I think it is going to affect different parts of our economic sector,” said Sharmila Mukherjee, Capital Metro’s vice president of planning and development.
COVID-19 has not delayed any construction so far, Capital Metro says.
In a meeting Friday afternoon, it was also released that Mayor Steve Adler and three different experts in finance, construction and sustainability joined the Austin Transit Partnership Board.
Along with a member of CapMetro’s board, the group will oversee the design and construction of Austin’s first light rail system, new bus routes and a downtown tunnel system as part of Project Connect.
“We are going to do everything we can to meet that schedule, work with the community during all moments of this process—from design to construction and really deliver infrastructure that is going to fundamentally, really help us become a more livable, equitable city for generations to come,” said Randy Clarke, president and CEO of CapMetro.
Several speakers at the meeting urged this new board to keep diversity and representation of working people in mind as they make plans.