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Going UNDERGROUND for I-35? Austin's Own Version of "Tunneling through Town."

Monday, November 20, 2017   /   by Meagan Henry

Going UNDERGROUND for I-35? Austin's Own Version of "Tunneling through Town."

highway_353I-35 Going Underground?

Austin's I-35 Highway Could Be Going Underground. I was in the Paramount Theater a few years back enjoying a concert where David Wilcox was playing. In between songs, he was talking about arriving in Austin and getting his first look around, and I remember he made the strangest face when he mentioned that "there's this strange elevated interstate..." Before that moment, I'd never thought of our elevated I-35 as being odd in anyway, except maybe that one time my mother spun out her Buick on the upper deck in an ice storm.

I-35 Has Always Been Significant to Downtown Austin


In addition to the untraditional highway design, I remember, having grown up here, that the I-35 has always been something of a dividing line between the "East Side" and "West Side." And of course, there's been a stigma, though most recently with "Smart Growth" development strategies, new condo towers, and office buildings, we're seeing a lot more folks in Downtown Austin than when I was a kid.

Well, now they're talking about taking Interstate 35 underground! This is very interesting for a variety of reasons. Not only would it be great logistically to widen the roadway and add more lanes, but it would also open up growth and development opportunities above ground. If you’ve been in Austin long enough to have that “East Side-West Side” way of thinking tattooed in your brain, then how great would it be to have both areas run together? By removing the great separator that serves as a larger-than-life divider, both literally and figuratively, this intriguing idea could be a huge step towards building more united Austin.



The Russ Phillips Team specializes in homes for sale in Austin and surrounding communities.