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TxDOT says construction on I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio will 'never conclude'

 I-35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) Central. The Texas Department of Transportation project includes the constriction of approximately 9.5 miles of elevated, non-tolled lanes from I-410 North to FM 3009 in Bexar and Guadalupe counties.
A rendering shows plans for elevated, non-tolled lanes in Bexar and Guadalupe counties.

Construction on the I-35 corridor between San Antonio and Austin feels never ending.

The head of the Texas Department of Transportation said with ongoing growth in the state, construction is not expected to let up any time soon.

Texas recently surpassed 30 million residents in the state, and it sees 1,300 new residents every day.

The San Antonio-Austin corridor has become one of the fastest growing regions, with significant growth in Comal, Hays, and Guadalupe counties.

Marc Williams, executive director of TxDOT, was keynote speaker at the regional 2024 Transportation Summit hosted in San Marcos.

The event brought together elected leaders to discuss transportation issue in the region.

"This region really has been and continues to be not only a hub of commerce, but a hub of the population growth that comes along with that," Williams said. "The demand on us is really to keep pace."

Williams said constant highway and infrastructure improvements are needed to alleviate congestion in the area.

"The work will never conclude on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio, I can say that pretty definitively," he said. "The demand, the growth, the population, the business, the commerce, it brings that about."

TxDOT has a record $39 billion worth of construction currently underway statewide. It's expected to surpass $40 billion soon.

Williams also said the department has established a record number of contracts to complete the construction work. Payments to contractors are 20% to 25% higher than they were compared to a year ago.

Construction projects include the I-35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) Central, which is currently in progress. Approximately 9.5 miles of elevated lanes will provide direct connection to I-410 North and Loop 1604.

Construction for the I-35 Capital Express Central project in Austin is expected to begin in mid-2024.

Other speakers at the summit emphasized the need for collaboration between local and the state officials in order to get big infrastructure projects done efficiently.

Copyright 2024 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Marian Navarro
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