Rendering of I-35 6th street bridge in Austin. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Changes to Interstate 35 in Austin receive federal environmental approval

September 22, 2023

Major changes to Interstate 35 through downtown Austin have moved one step closer to construction. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently received federal approval of its Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Austin I-35 Capital Express Central Project. The project now moves to final design and review, with construction scheduled to start as early as the summer of 2024. 

The expansion will add two non-tolled high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes in each direction on I-35 from US 290 East to State Highway 71. Other design plans include lowering the mainlines from Airport Boulevard to Lady Bird Lake, removing upper decks, providing options for future plaza decks, improving transit connections and widening east-west bridges for bicycle and pedestrian paths. 

TxDOT started the review process in 2020. It included a feasibility study, environmental and design review and feedback from local agencies, organizations and communities. 

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