i-35 corridor study

austin, tx



The IH-35 Urban Design Study is a conceptual “Kit of Parts” for a 5.5-mile segment of Interstate 35 running
through downtown Austin, Texas. Since its construction in the 1950’s, IH-35 has acted as a barrier that has intensified the long-standing economic and cultural isolation of East Austin. It also introduced high levels of traffic and noise to central Austin and degraded the overall aesthetics of the city. Additionally, Austin’s rapid growth in recent years has resulted in severe regional traffic congestion. Improvements to this corridor are long-overdue. The primary goal of this project was to develop a solution that would improve the urban environment affected by IH- 35 utilizing urban design coordinated with highway engineering. The "Vision" for the project called for reuniting East Austin with the fabric of the city, conveying Austin's unique character through design and materials, improving the driving experience for residents and visitors, and reducing the negative environmental and safety impacts of the roadway. Urban design components developed for the project include sloping precast concrete walls enhanced with native stone aggregates, pedestrian friendly
overpasses that celebrate the re-connection of East and West Austin, and enhanced landscaping throughout the corridor. The package also includes coordinated lighting and site furnishings throughout and major gateways at the north and south entries of the corridor that announce one's arrival in Austin's urban core.