Traffic During I-35 Construction: Seven Steps

Proposed By Sinclair Black FAIA

On any street or highway re-construction project navigating the continuing traffic even for a limited time becomes a major concern and cost consideration. TxDOT’s alternatives for the I-35 rebuild show no solutions for this major problem. It isn’t even mentioned in their published plans.

Reconnect Austin, the community-generated alternative on the other hand has an interim solution for the inevitable disruption as follows:

  1. Follow through on TxDOT’s proposal made years ago to switch the designation on I-35 and SH130 requiring trucks to use SH130 toll-free.
  2. Widen the frontage roads to 4 or 5 lanes with no connection to the elevated, only a few turnarounds to access the other side.
  3. Demolish the elevated highway completely and rebuild all utility systems and flood tunnels to the lake.
  4. Rebuild the main lanes below grade quickly with direct connect portals to the East/West grid.
  5. Construct the at grade cap, the “boulevard” with connections to the existing East/West city streets that serve as the regional access/distribution system.
  6. Demolish the temporary feeder/access roads and return that land to the city of Austin.
  7. Build all the sidewalks, bike lanes, and transit stations and plant 4,000 trees in the 3.8 mile long, 40 ft. median and create Austin’s “urban forest”.

This op-ed can be downloaded here.