AUSTIN (KXAN) —Have you noticed the trees piling up along U.S. 290?
Tree removal at the Oak Hill “Y,” located in the Travis County Oak Hill area, is back to clearing trees after a brief halt when local activist groups complained. Organizations like Save Barton Creek Association and the Oak Hill Neighbors filed an injunction to stop construction on grounds that removal will negatively impact the environment.
In July, a federal judge told the Texas Department of Transportation to stop clearing the trees — and they did — but on September 13 the judge denied the request to stop removal.
Bill Gammon, who represents the groups against the removal, says he was hoping all parties could find a more environmentally friendly way to fix traffic congestion in the area, while also saving the trees.
“Now there is nothing, but devastation,” said Gammon. “There are no trees left and everything has been removed. It was the gateway to the Hill County and now it is just a parking lot. So you pay for paradise then put up a parking lot and call it progress.”
TxDOT says they plan to preserve as many trees as possible.
The removal process will continue into 2022.
The Oak Hill Parkway Project will accommodate future growth by adding U.S. 290 travel lanes, removing traffic signals on the main lanes and constructing flyovers between U.S. 290 and State Highway 71.
TxDOT says this project will improve safety and mobility along six miles of 290 and 1.2 miles of 71.