Study released on top Texas transportation issues


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 17 at 8:53 PM

AUSTIN -- Texas' top 100 transportation challenges were released by non-profit transportation research group, TRIP Thursday.  You may not be surprised that twelve are in the Austin area. 

Ask any driver around Central Texas and you might hear something like this.

"There's really bad congestion," said one Austin driver.

"Everything is so crammed packed, and you look to your left and right, and you see there is no escape," Austin driver Dertrick Winn said.

This year, construction on 183 into the central business district will begin. One new lane will be added in each direction.

This work will address the number 22 transportation challenge in Texas, as identified by TRIP.

Number nine on the list is congestion on 290 between MoPac and RM 1826.

Number 15 on the list is the heavy traffic on I-35 through Central Austin. TRIP says it would take improvements to intersections and frontage roads, as well as an addition of one express lane in each direction to ease congestion here.

Number 25 is Highway 360 from U-S 290 to RM 2244. TRIP says construction of an interchange at these roads is needed to relieve traffic.

The report also suggests replacing the bridge at Slaughter Creek Parkway over I-35, as well as the downtown bridges where Cesar Chavez crosses 35, and where East 12th crosses the highway.

Another issue is SB Loop 1 at Lady Bird Lake. TRIP says the bridge needs to be widened to keep up with traffic.

"The level of congestion continues to grow here in Austin and the amount of traffic congestion and roadway deterioration will get dramatically worse in the future," said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, associate director of research with TRIP

TRIP got much of it's information from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Since the state doesn't have the money to even consider most of these ideas, TRIP recommends more funding should go towards state transportation.

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