The Texas Transportation Commission approved the 2020 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), which includes funding for the I-35 Capital Express North and South projects. The Capital Express program is made up of three, stand-alone projects — North, Central, and South. The North project proposes to add one, non-tolled managed lane in each direction along I-35 from SH 45 North to U.S. 290 East. The South project proposes to add two, non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from SH 71/Ben White Boulevard to SH 45 Southeast. Additional safety and mobility improvements also are included as part of the Mobility35 Program.
"Improving I-35 in Central Texas is a major undertaking, especially when it comes to downtown Austin," said TxDOT Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson. "By constructing the Capital Express North and South projects first, drivers will have alternatives, such as U.S. 183 and SH 71, to bypass downtown during the construction of the Capital Express Central project."
Managed lanes are proposed in high-congestion areas where right of way is limited. These lanes are designed to provide a less congested route than adjacent general-purpose lanes during peak periods for qualifying vehicles. Managed lanes control access by placing restrictions on use.
The Capital Express Central project proposes to add two, non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from U.S. 290 East to SH 71/Ben White Boulevard. Funding for the Central project has yet to be identified.
The UTP allocated approximately $700 million in funding for the Capital Express North and South projects from various sources.