Austin/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on December 15, 2023
Austin Allocates Over $15 Million to Spark I-35 'Cap and Stitch' Project Aiming to Transform Downtown Urban LandscapeSource: Google Street View

Austin City Council has greenlit a substantial financial push for the I-35 overhaul, signing off on more than $15 million to jumpstart the ambitious "cap and stitch" project designed to revitalize and reconnect parts of downtown Austin, as per KXAN.

The initiative envisions the installation of deck plazas atop lowered highway lanes, aimed at bolstering communal and green spaces, and is part of a grander $4.5 billion plan to revitalize the interstate and surrounding urban areas. Not only will it include seating areas, bike lanes, and a tapestry of greenery to mute the urban growl of traffic, but it also aims to cement the connective tissue between city and highway. A Thursday vote by the council agreed upon an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to cover an engineering and design study pegged at $1.8 million, a process set to begin in mid-2024, as outlined by KVUE.

Additionally, the arrangement secures the city's commitment of $15.4 million, which will underpin approximately 30% of design costs and environmental reviews. This sum springs from the 2023-24 Transportation and Public Works Capital Budget. Highlighted areas for the caps include several key corridors in downtown Austin, stretching over what could become vibrant, pedestrian-friendly zones, bridging gaps carved by the highway.

The overhaul doesn't come cheap, with projected figures swirling around $509 million for roadway elements and another $338 million for the plazas—yet it's a vision that could reimagine Austin's urban fabric by knitting together disparate parts of the city that had long been divided by the chasm of freeways. After the city anteed up, it now eyes a $105 million cap and stitch grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, eagerly awaiting a response set for February, as construction is tentatively slated for a 2026 kickoff and will span several years before completion.

Austin-Real Estate & Development