AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Transportation is giving new insight into some design options related to the I-35 Capital Express Central expansion project. The eight-mile project scope runs along the I-35 corridor from U.S. Hwy. 290 East down south the SH 71 and Ben White Boulevard.

TxDOT unveiled the conceptual renderings during a public aesthetics meeting Tuesday evening. The designs highlighted key markers along the proposed highway expansion, including at Lady Bird Lake, 6th Street and Cesar Chavez Street.

The $4.5 billion plan will include the following components, as proposed:

  • Removal of the existing I-35 decks
  • Lowering of the roadway
  • Addition of two non-tolled HOV lanes in each direction
  • East-west cross-street bridges
  • Pedestrian, bicycle shared-use paths

TxDOT completed its public engagement and comment period on the project March 7. The proposed plan has since been sent to the federal government for approval.

TxDOT is expected to announce the finalized version of the project’s design and scope in August, with a targeted construction start date in mid-2024. The project is anticipated to take eight years to complete, with an estimated finish by 2033.