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Oak Hill Parkway Update

OAK HILL PARKWAY MOVES FORWARD

Recommended Build Alternative to be Presented at May Public Hearing

The Oak Hill Parkway Project has reached a major milestone: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) are pleased to announce that Alternative "A" has been selected as the Recommended Build Alternative to be presented on May 24, 2018 at a public hearing.
 
This news clears the way for the next steps in the decades-long journey to bring congestion relief to residents of southwest Travis County. The announcement will be followed by the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and draft schematic design, both of which are the results of extensive community outreach and engineering analysis to determine the best option for improving mobility in Oak Hill and surrounding communities. The DEIS includes an analysis of the alternatives considered as well as an assessment of potential impacts to the human and natural environment.
 
Beginning tomorrow, May 4, 2018, the DEIS and draft schematic design will be available online at www.OakHillParkway.com. They will also be available for review Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the TxDOT Austin District Office, 7901 N. I-35, Austin, TX 78753. Project information is also available at the Mobility Authority Office, 3300 N. I-35, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78705, and the Hampton Branch at Oak Hill Austin Public Library at 5125 Convict Hill Road, Austin, TX 78749.
 
A Public Hearing will be held Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Bowie High School, located at 4103 W. Slaughter Ln. Austin, TX 78749 for public review of the document and project materials. The hearing will begin with an open house from 6:15 to 7 p.m., where the public can review project information and exhibits. The formal presentation to announce the findings of the study and present the key design elements will begin at 7 p.m. A public comment period will follow.
 
Verbal and written comments may be presented at the hearing, sent by mail or fax, or submitted online until the close of the comment period on June 18, 2018.
 
All information available at the public hearing will also be available online at the virtual open house which will be linked on www.OakHillParkway.com beginning May 4, 2018.
 

what is alternative “A”?

During the project development process, a full range of alternatives were screened to assess the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts. This process ensures that environmental and community values are considered alongside the technical and economic factors. Throughout the course of the environmental study, that universe of potential alternatives was refined through a phased approach where three sets of screening criteria were used to determine whether the purpose and need of the project were met. This effort resulted in the narrowing of concepts to the final two, which were carried forward for additional analysis: Alternative “A” and Alternative “C.”  The “No-Build” Alternative was also carried forward as a baseline for comparison.
 
Ultimately, Alternative “A” was selected as the recommended alternative because it meets the project purpose and need and has fewer social, economic, and environmental impacts than Alternative “C.” This includes four fewer at-grade crossings of shared-use paths and city streets, an overall reduction in elevated structures, and fewer acres of streams and other bodies of waters within the project right of way.  The “No-Build” Alternative will be carried forward as a baseline for comparison against Alternative “A.”


Above is an artistic rendering of what Alternative “A” could look like
 

What are we proposing?

  • An upgraded, state-of-the-art roadway consisting of three mainlanes for through traffic in each direction, as well as two-to-three frontage road lanes in each direction
  • An overpass for the US 290 mainlanes over William Cannon Drive
  • New flyovers between US 290 and SH 71
  • Significant bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along the entire corridor including a seven-mile shared-use path, sidewalks, and a trailhead at Williamson Creek on William Cannon Drive
  • Upstream water detentions ponds to reduce potential flooding
  • Multiple stormwater detention and water quality treatment ponds within the corridor
  • New landscaping, tree plantings, and corridor aesthetics  
Pending the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s approval, the project will move forward as a non-tolled roadway. No changes in design or schematic are necessary based on this modification. TxDOT is coordinating with CAMPO to modify the 2040 Plan to reflect the change from tolled to non-tolled mainlanes.
 

WHAT IS AN EIS?

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a full-disclosure, public document that includes an analysis of a full range of alternatives (including the “No-Build,” or do nothing alternative) and an assessment of potential environmental impacts through the evaluation process. A broad range of environmental issues have been studied and the findings reported, such as: water quality, air quality, cultural resources, biological resources, socioeconomic conditions, community cohesion, noise and more. The EIS includes a summary of the public involvement efforts and the context-sensitive solutions process. This document is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. After the public hearing is held, the DEIS will be updated to include all official comments from the public hearing comment period.
 

What Happens after the public hearing?

After the May 24, 2018 public hearing, public and agency comments will be considered as the final environmental document, or Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), is completed and submitted for final review. The TxDOT Environmental Division will review the FEIS and make a final decision known as the “Record of Decision,” or ROD. The decision will determine whether the preferred build alternative moves forward or if the no-build alternative is selected instead. Should the build alternative be selected, TxDOT will seek state and federal funding. TxDOT has identified funding for utility relocation and right-of-way appraisal and purchase. If the build alternative is approved to move forward into construction, the earliest the project could break ground is 2020, once funding is identified.
 

How do i submit OFFICIAL comments?

Written comments must be received by midnight on June 18, 2018.
 
By Mail:
TxDOT Austin District Environmental Coordinator
c/o Jon Geiselbrecht
Texas Department of Transportation
P.O. Drawer 15426
Austin, Texas, 78761-5426

By Fax:
512-832-7157

Online:
www.OakHillParkway.com
  • Copyright © 2018 TxDOT, All rights reserved.
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