Public weighs in on S. MoPac improvements

Commutes will be 3 times longer by 2035 if TxDOT doesn't fix traffic congestion

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Traffic congestion isn’t hard to find in Austin, but one area that’s notorious for backups is in Southwest Austin at the intersections of Slaughter Lane and La Crosse Avenue. But relief could be on the way. The Texas Department of Transportation recently completed an environmental study examining the effects of building the main lanes of MoPac under the traffic lights in an effort to keep traffic moving.

When the intersections were built back in 1992 – traffic wasn’t an issue.  Circle C was a ranch until homes started going in during the late 1980’s.  Now there are nearly 5,000 homes in the subdivision.

Thursday evening TxDOT will present the findings of the environmental study looking to gather public feedback. The summary of the 70 page document states, “The proposed project poses a low risk for significant hydrogeological connections to sensitive caves, Karst features and groundwater resources that could affect water quality, quantity, and protected species.”

“We welcome the public’s input on how they feel about the project, did we miss anything, and just to review the environmental document with us,” said Kelli Reyna, TxDOT Spokeswoman.

A separate TxDOT study found if they do nothing to fix the congestion at these lights the commute will be three times longer to travel between the two intersections by 2035. But that likely won’t happen and this project will get the green light.

“If this project is environmentally cleared we can move forward with it rather quickly we would be looking to take it out to bid in spring of 2016 and then construction will be two to three years,” said Reyna.

The project is estimated to cost $46 million. Funding is currently in place and is paid for through tax dollars and federal funds.

Thursday’s public meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the Bowie High School Cafeteria. TxDOT will present their findings at 6 p.m. and the public can provide feedback.

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