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I-35 Listed Among 10 Freeways that Should be Torn Down

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The sixth “Freeways Without Futures” report has been released by the Congress for the New Urbanism group, and it identifies I-35 in its list of 10 U.S. highways that should be removed. The biennial report has been produced since 2008. However, this is the first time this Texas highway has been noted in its material. A study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute actually ranks I-35 third in terms of congestion in the state of Texas, with additional data that appears to support this latest report.

I-35 Listed Among 10 Freeways that Should be Torn Down

Photo: Flickr/Steve

The Congress for the New Urbanism is a group that advocates for improved transportation. Its report was released on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, and although it notes that the highway’s complete removal isn’t viable, it does share recommendations for improvements. The study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute previously asserted that I-35 accounts for traffic delays in the millions of hours, while the “Freeways Without Futures” document reported that it impedes travel between the east and west side of Austin. The recommendations for improvement were prepared by Reconnect Austin – a coalition to improve the interstate.

I-35 Listed Among 10 Freeways that Should be Torn Down

Photo: Pixabay

In the meantime, the Texas Department of Transportation is in the process of making its own improvements to the tune of $8.1 billion. Those that were recommended in the “Freeways Without Futures” report suggest that an additional 30 acres of land would be opened in the Texas Hill Country city, with an added value of close to $3.3 billion. According to the Congress for the New Urbanism, 17 U.S. cities have either effectively torn down or committed to tearing down the freeways that have impeded their neighborhoods, growth, or transportation since the 1980s. However, “replacing these facilities, many at the end of their useful lives, is often neither feasible nor an efficient use of public funds,” the group recently stated in a press release. Tearing down I-35 certainly isn’t feasible, but the report maintains that its recommendations for improvement would greatly help relieve congestion of traffic between East and West Austin.