Developing a Solution to IH-35 in Austin

Is change on the horizon for I-35 through Austin?

I-35 through downtown Austin is a complete nightmare every single day and traffic occurs at all hours. Not only was I-35 labeled the most “traffic heavy route” in all of Texas (and that’s saying a lot, especially if you’ve spent any time in Houston) – it’s also now the 4th most congested roadway in the US!!

How to fix IH-35

Reconnect Austin proposes how I-35 could seemlessly snake through downtown.

Another recent analysis found that the wasted time and toll of accidents and car repair drains $172 million from our local economy.

For years, I’ve read story after story about how TxDOT, city leaders, consultants, etc. will find a solution, but for over 15-years there really hasn’t been much progress.

But things finally might be changing!

Reconnect Austin ( is a group of volunteers working on a long term urban design and economic solution to this freeway. This organization is working closely with city leaders and TxDOT to support a design that depresses the roadway from Lady Bird Lake to MLK blvd. They envision elevated walkways with trees and sidewalks that cross I-35, making it safer for pedestrians crossing from both sides of the city.

Urban design for IH-35

Bridges that are both safe and comfortable ways to cross I-35 by Reconnect Austin

This design would inevitably allow for denser development and attractive investment opportunities since the noise would be dramatically reduced and there wouldn’t be that eyesore of vehicles and exhaust all day.

For the next two years, there will be studies that include this design along with an elevated design. The group from supports the depressed design for many reasons.

For more information about this story and how you can get involved please visit their website at