Oak Hill freeway challenge strikes ahead regardless of authorized challenges

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A significant building challenge is nicely underway in Southwest Austin

Many drivers say the Oak Hill Parkway is much-needed to accommodate visitors, whereas others are upset concerning the variety of timber which have been taken all the way down to make means for it.

“The Oak Hill Parkway challenge is totally underway,” stated TxDOT Public Data Officer Brad Wheelis.

It’s been 4 months since TxDOT broke floor on an enormous revamp of the 290/71 interchange in Southwest Austin. The five-year, seven-mile-long challenge will flip the 2 highways into an elevated freeway—one thing TxDOT says is critical to deal with the rising quantity of visitors.

“We would have liked to construct one thing that may accommodate not solely right now’s numbers however out sooner or later,” stated Wheelis.

Because the challenge unfolds, residents are break up. “I don’t combat it in any respect. I feel it’s a good suggestion,” stated Matthew Funderberg, who works within the space. “Simply want we may get it sooner.”

“All of the timber are gone, which is admittedly unhappy as a result of I moved out right here for extra nature,” stated Jessica Lawson, who lives within the neighborhood. “It’s disheartening to see.”

As a part of the plan, tons of of timber have been eliminated to make means for a brand new frontage street—one thing Lawson worries will make the realm much less interesting.

“I do journey up and down right here fairly a bit, and the visitors does sort of get just a little dicey, however for me I might slightly that be the case than taking out all of the timber,” stated Lawson.

However TxDOT says they’ve a plan for that—by bringing an arborist onboard throughout building, preserving iconic timber, and planting tons of of latest ones.

“We’ve recognized greater than 200 timber to be preserved. our contractor is wanting on the design and checking to see if there are any means, we will tweak the design to save lots of further timber,” stated Wheelis.

Funderberg, a supervisor for Domino’s, welcomes the parkway, saying one thing’s gotta give relating to the bumper-to-bumper visitors.

“Site visitors’s horrible. I imply, yeah, all day, particularly round 5 or 6:00, when folks begin getting out of labor, this space particularly after which all the best way down 290. I’ve supply drivers that get caught there for 15, 20 minutes,” stated Funderberg.

When it’s finished, the interchange will embrace pedestrian and bike paths along with the freeway.

Within the meantime, TxDOT says lane closures will probably be largely at evening, and there’ll proceed to be noise from the challenge, however they’ll attempt to hold disruptions to a minimal. “We ask for the general public to be affected person with us as a result of this can be a long-term challenge. there’s numerous work to be finished, and all of that’s forward of us for probably the most half,” stated Wheelis.

There are some ongoing authorized challenges, the challenge continues to maneuver ahead. Within the coming months, crews will probably be shifting utilities, including retaining partitions and sound partitions within the space.

The Oak Hill Parkway is slated to be finished in 2026. 

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