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City Of Austin Teams Up With Urban Land Institute for I-35 Traffic Solutions

Updated: Tuesday, August 19 2014, 06:44 PM CDT
Solutions to traffic on I-35 gaining speed recently when the City of Austin began working with the Urban Land Institute.

KEYE TV Traffic Anchor Erica Brennes shows us how the ULI is focusing not just on improving traffic, but designing a plan to improve life around I-35 through downtown.

Getting drivers out of this mess on I-35 is a daunting task.
David Steinwedell, the Executive Director of the Austin Urban Land Institute says, "Right now I-35 is basically a scar across the city of Austin that separates downtown from east Austin."

One idea, adding a lane in each direction, while cutting and capping I-35 from E MLK Jr Blvd to Cesar Chavez, has risen to the top of the list as a solution to improve I-35 traffic.

Austin City Council Member Chris Riley says, "Parts of I-35 in that area are already depressed, and if we were able to depress all those main lanes then we could provide connections at grade for many of those east west streets and in the future we can add caps over time as other cities have done."

Steinwedell says, "Dallas for instance, put a cap over Woodall Rogers and that connected uptown to their downtown. Those types of things are examples of what can be done, we just need to take a look at how do you do it best for the City of Austin."

Austin's ULI doesn't advocate for one idea or the other, they bring in industry experts and seek input from other cities that have done similar projects.

Riley says, "Turn that ugly and noisy highway into public park space, increasing property value by opening up opportunities for mixed us development up there and would help us pay for this infrastructure."

ULI will also consider mass transit and housing during its fall meeting.
The price tag to add a lane and sink I-35 from MLK to Cesar Chavez is in the range of one to two billion dollars.

Follow @ericabrennes on Twitter for breaking Austin Traffic updates.
City Of Austin Teams Up With Urban Land Institute for I-35 Traffic Solutions


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