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City council approves funding for Oak Hill Parkway

TxDOT is leading construction on the project along Oak Hill Parkway, splitting Highway 290 and Highway 71.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin City Council on Thursday voted to spend about $3 million on the Oak Hill Parkway project to provide right of way.

The parkway will sit on the split on Highway 290 and Highway 71 in Southwest Austin that is known as the "Y in Oak Hill."

The Texas Department of Transportation would add three main lanes and three frontage road lanes on 290 from MoPac to RM 1826, and along US 71 from US 290 to Silvermine Drive.

Neighbors who live close to the project told city council they are worried about the environmental impact to the Edwards Aquifer -- which then affects many creeks and waterways in Central Texas.

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Texas Department of Transportation breaks ground to widen US 290 East

'Safer 71' aims to help make Highway 71 less dangerous

They want the City to take a closer look at environmental studies.

"To make sure all the appropriate regulations have been met," said Clark Hancock, president of the Save Barton Springs Association. "That design alternatives have been effectively evaluated and that we end up with a project that will not be delayed in its construction, preserve the unique character of this area, and the environmental integrity of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer."

The project would also have a 7-mile shared-use path, sidewalks and a trailhead at Williamson Creek on William Cannon Drive.

Oak Hill Parkway is a non-tolled project with an estimated construction cost of $440 million. The earliest the project could break ground is 2020, with construction expected to take approximately four years.