Texas Transportation Commission Approves $3.4 billion for I-35 Improvements through Austin

A major reconstruction of I-35 through downtown Austin is a step closer to reality, following action taken by the Texas Transportation Commission today. The Commission approved an update to the 2020 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) to allocate $3.4 billion for the I-35 Capital Express Central project.

The $3.4 billion is from the Commission’s discretionary funds not previously allocated in the UTP, a 10-year planning document that guides the development of the state’s future transportation projects. Earlier this month, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) passed a resolution committing $633 million to the Capital Express project. In addition, around $300 million will be considered by the Commission when it votes on the 2021 UTP in August 2020. The funding identified by Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. is the result of years of planning and discussions with Governor Greg Abbott, regional transportation planners and stakeholders.

The Capital Express Central project proposes to add two continuous non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along the 7.9-mile section on I-35 from US 290 East to US 290 West/SH71. Additional auxiliary and frontage road lanes roads would also be built.

In other action today, the Commission also approved a conditional award for a design-build contract to construct the Oak Hill Parkway project. Colorado River Constructors was selected as the design-build contractor and will complete the final design for the more than $600 million project and construct the state-of-the-art highway at the intersection of US 290 and SH 71 in Oak Hill. The project includes three mainlanes in each direction along US 290, as well as two to three frontage road lanes in each direction. Flyovers will be built at the US 290 and SH 71 intersection, where the mainlanes of US 290 would be depressed, or go under SH 71. Construction is expected to begin in late 2020.

For media inquiries, contact Diann.Hodges@txdot.gov or (512) 832-7027.