AUSTIN (KXAN) — Imagine driving on Interstate 35 and not having to navigate around 18-wheelers? That’s just one of 74 ideas transportation officials are thinking about implementing in the Austin area.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s Unified Transportation Program is a 10-year plan of transportation projects that may become a reality. The statewide effort lists 8,200 projects.
Among the projects listed is one for the potential expansion of I-35. It would be in two sections of the busy highway. The northern segment stretches from U.S. Highway 290 East — by Koenig Lane — all the way to State Highway 45 North in Round Rock.
The southern segment from Ben White Boulevard down to SH-45 in Buda. Transportation officials are looking to add one to two lanes in each direction. These would be managed lanes — but not tolls.
That means it could be anything from an HOV lane to one banning 18-wheelers.
“This is a very complicated project because you have so much right away that has been built up along I-35 so we have to figure out a way to add capacity at the same time with as little encroachment as possible,” Brad Wheelis with TxDOT said.
Drivers said they’ll take any extra space they can get.
“I think the extra lane will keep the traffic flowing because a lot of times we are stopped and we need the traffic to keep flowing,” Dora Trevino said.
Thursday’s meeting aims to get some feedback on these projects. The public UTP meeting starts at 4 p.m. at TxDOT’s Riverside Campus in Austin.
Attention: Peter Smith
P.O. Box 149217
Austin, TX 78714-9217
After Thursday’s meeting, TxDOT officials plan to hold a public hearing in August.