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Adler votes for I-35 improvements

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

In a statement that called the portion of I-35 that runs through Austin “the worst road in Texas,” Mayor Steve Adler announced that he had voted for more than $74.2 million in improvements to the highway at Monday’s meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. One of the projects will add shoulders and lanes and make improvements to ramps, pavement and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. It will also address specific issues at the intersection of I-35 and Oltorf Street. The $54.5 million project will be funded through Fiscal Year 2016 Proposition 1 money. The second project will be considered at this Thursday’s City Council meeting. That project, which will (theoretically) be funded with about $10.5 million in money from the state and $9.2 million from the city, will attempt to fix the currently circuitous intersection of I-35 and 51st Street. While anyone familiar with the bizarre intersection will probably recognize how it could be improved, the mayor’s press release about the CAMPO vote goes into more detail: “The project will construct a new roundabout at the intersection of the I-35 southbound frontage road and 51st Street intersection, minimizing delay particularly in the off-peak hours and increasing safety. The southbound frontage road will be realigned to make room for the addition of a collector-distributor road between the main lanes and frontage road, reducing congestion at the roundabout. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities will be improved.” CAMPO voted in favor of both projects unanimously during its Monday night meeting.

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