TxDOT meets those impacted by 35 Central project

I 35 Expansion Meeting

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas Department of Transportation met Monday with members of the business community who would be impacted by the overhaul and expansion planned for Interstate 35 in Austin.

The community meeting was with commercial tenants, property owners and those who own land along the I-35 Capital Express Central project corridor.

Project details

The I-35 Central project is an eight-mile project track running from U.S. Hwy. 290 East to SH 71 and Ben White Boulevard.

Project components include the addition of two non-tolled high-occupancy vehicle managed lanes in each direction along I-35, the removal of the upper decks and lowering of the I-35 main lanes between Airport Boulevard and Lady Bird Lake, as well as between Riverside Drive and Oltorf Street.

Project designs also call for “boulevard-style segments” running through downtown, in addition to pedestrian and cyclist path improvements.

The first phase of the project will run from Holly Street in the Downtown area south towards State Highway 71.

Property displacements

KXAN reported in August that under an updated final environmental impact statement, TxDOT officials noted right-of-way acquisition for the planned expansion would result in 111 displacements:

  • 59 commercial properties
  • 51 residential properties
  • 1 property that is currently vacated

Of the 59 commercial properties impacted, eight of those are earmarked for serving specific communities, such as providing services for children, lower-income community members, non-white residents, and Spanish speakers.

Monday’s meeting

TxDot said Monday’s meeting was a chance for impacted business owners to meet with property owners and landlords of vacant commercial properties in Austin.

So-Han Fan, who owns the West China Tea Company on the southbound side of I-35 just south of 49th Street told KXAN, “It is disruptive and frustrating to be made to move when you spent years and years building a business.”

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