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Austin: IH 35 rebuild

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Meeting page
Presentation with cross section views

The presentation emphasizes that the managed lanes are non-tolled, using the "non-tolled" prefix in virtually all references.

The project is divided into the 3 sections: north, central and south

The north section is modest, adding only two managed lanes in the interior shoulder area of the existing 3x3 freeway. On the plus side, cost is estimated at $400 million and projected contract award is March 2022.

The south section is slightly more ambitious, adding four managed lanes (2x2) in the interior of the existing 3x3 freeway. The cross section view suggests standards will be low (i.e. no shoulders and narrow lanes). Cost is $300 million with a projected contract award in January 2022.

The central section, in contrast, is hugely ambitious and will be hugely expensive and difficult to construct. No cost or timeline is mentioned.
* The current section with elevated lanes is proposed to be a three-level stacked freeway, with two levels below grade.
* The cross section looks like the lower 2x2 managed lanes will barely fit between the existing elevated lane piers. If it doesn't fit, the freeway will need to be entirely closed to build it. If it does fit, the freeway will need to be reduced to only the upper deck lanes while the bottom level is built.
* It looks like the middle deck will be open to the surface (like the LBJ Express lanes in Dallas), but the Express lanes appear to be tunnels

The downtown section replaces the existing 3x3 mostly elevated freeway with a 4-2M-2M-4 sunk into a trench. This should be able to be built while keeping the existing freeway lanes open. I'm thinking there will be provisions to overdeck the freeway with a park, although locals would have to pay for that.

The south section has 2x2 managed lanes in a tunnel underneath the main lanes. I'm assuming this will be a cut and cover tunnel, which may also be difficult to build and still keep 6 lanes open.

The solicitation also calls for a signature bridge over Lake Lady Bird, which will be costly due to the number of lanes, probably 20 including the frontage road lanes.

The cost and funding are big questions for this section. I suppose we'll see some numbers within a couple years. There have been many plans for IH 35 through Austin during the past 20 years, and none have moved forward. I'm thinking this proposal is definitely not a sure thing.

Interesting, looks very similar to an idea I posted on the now defunct speakup4mobility site regarding the elevated lanes. My idea was to connect and join the elevated lanes with a structure that would support additional lanes and convert the lower deck into managed lanes.

If they have to shut 35 down for an extended amount of time, they will need to temporarily remove tolls on SH130 and establish that as a construction bypass route.

Plutonic Panda:
That would be exciting! Hopefully it happens.

Austin also needs to seriously invest in mass transit preferably rail based. A 10-20 billion dollar package over 10 years would be great.

The Ghostbuster:
Could the elevated lanes proposal in Austin connect with the elevated lanes proposal in San Antonio? Or would that be overkill?


--- Quote from: The Ghostbuster on April 25, 2019, 04:10:41 PM ---Could the elevated lanes proposal in Austin connect with the elevated lanes proposal in San Antonio? Or would that be overkill?

--- End quote ---

That would be nearly 70 miles of continuously elevated lanes. I couldn’t foresee that happening.

On the other hand, I could definitely see “express/HOV”  lanes built along the entire length of 35 between the two cities.


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