5/1/14 NA Stakeholder's Meeting with TXDOT & Consultants

Jim Rankin represented HNA in the recent NA Stakeholder's Meeting by TXDOT & their Consultants , HNTB, Etc. on 5/1. Following are his notes:

Here are the TXDOT proposed IH-35 re-designs between 15th/290E for everyone in HNA to see on the www.mobility35.org website. Quick link: http://www.mobility35.org/news_room/workshop_materials.aspx.

Some items I list might not be all that was discussed (see TXDOT posted plans and options for complete picture):

IH-35 through Austin is #1 in Texas Static Traffic Congestion (Go Austin, We're #1).

35% higher accident rate than Texas Average.
200,000 Vehicles/day currently.
2012-2013 Fastest growing City in US, 2.6%.

Current plans:

  1. ADD two lanes in center of lower deck and full miles of IH-35 between Kyle/Georgetown for "FTC (Future Transportation Corridor)" that has not been defined exactly what those lanes entail (toll, HOV, etc., rail was a participant's comment). So 4 lanes each direction. Lower deck retaining walls would need to be more vertical and ALL bridge abutments must be rebuilt for wider clearance. Upper deck structure was not built to carry weight of any additional lanes.
  2. Rebuild ALL bridges over the lower deck, bridge design not settled but should allow the current cross-traffic, probably U-turn lanes to avoid the traffic lights, safer peds/bikes lanes, and wider abutment opening at lower deck level.
  3. No IH-35 Northbound onramps between the current one N. of 15th st/new one N. of Airport. Northbound offramps remain at Manor/32nd, and N. of 38th. Tentative Off-ramp Option just N. of 32nd (where onramp will be deleted) , would take some access frontage lots as accessroad must shift east, but would have 1/2 depth of those lots remaining to figure out sound barrier buffer. Tentative removal of on-ramp from MLK to upper deck, but many in meeting stated they would like that one to remain.
  4. Airport intersection has several options. Diverging Diamond shown to eliminate 1/2 of the existing left-turn conflicts. Upper deck exit to Eastbound Airport has several options. Existing Airport Northbound to 45th Westbound light is creating backup in to access intersection and must be improved. Tentative improvement shows that Airport traffic to drive 3-6 blocks further north to reach a protected U-turn, returning Southbound Airport to turn West at 45th. Existing Airport northbound entrance ramp to upper deck southbound was on chopping block, but majority of NA wanted it to remain.
  5. 51st street bridge would have large Roundabout on southbound access road. No traffic stops. A new southbound access lane goes under 51st bridge and avoids the roundabout. IH-35 southbound existing onramp S. of 51st would change to offramp, and existing offramp to Airport would change to onramp.
  6. No IH-35 Southbound onramps between new one for Airport, and the one South of MLK.

I couldn't write fast enough for every option discussed. Mobility group will digest all comments from meeting, and schedule next NA Stakeholder meeting in late Summer.

TXDOT's I-35 Mobility Group repeatedly stated they would be glad to give presentation at NA meetings. Just email them at address on website "info@...."