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Bergstrom Expressway: New Ways to Get Moving!

Bergstrom Expressway Environmental Study – New Ways to Get Moving


A new expressway is being proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority to relieve congestion on one of Central Texas’ most congested highways. The proposed Bergstrom Expressway is envisioned as a limited access tolled expressway with three lanes in each direction. The new expressway would be constructed in the median of the existing 183 South, between US 290 and SH 71. The existing lanes would remain untolled and serve as the Expressway’s frontage lanes.

Bergstrom Expressway: New Ways to Get Moving!  

Since the summer of 2011, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have been working together on an environmental study for the Bergstrom Expressway. The purpose of the environmental study is to develop a reasonable and feasible approach to enhance safety and improve mobility while taking into account the needs of those who use the corridor (vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians) and the surrounding community. The environmental study includes neighborhood and public meetings where residents, businesses and other stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input on proposed improvements to the corridor.
Originally built in 1966 and carried roughly 1,900 cars per day, the 183 South corridor now carries more than 60,000 cars and trucks a day. The Mobility Authority and TxDOT are working together to find a feasible way to add capacity to a rapidly growing corridor.

“We are committed to improving mobility in the region, and the Bergstrom Expressway is a great example of that,” says Mobility Authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein. "This project includes new, non-stop capacity and improvements to frontage roads along 183 South as well as improved access for pedestrians and bicyclists.” A 10-foot wide shared use path for walkers, joggers and bicyclists is included along the east side of the project as well as new sidewalks on the west side, providing continuous pedestrian access along the corridor. The existing US 183 South will be improved and remain non-tolled, serving as the frontage roads for the new project.

Heiligenstein says, “The Mobility Authority is also committed to protecting as many of the large oak trees as possible in the Bergstrom Expressway corridor. The oak trees are part of the regional identity and will be an integral part of the corridor design.”

In September 2012, the project’s first Open House was held at the Delco Center. More than 90 people attended the meeting to view project displays and maps and speak with subject matter experts about the proposed improvements and the overall environmental study. Click here to learn more about Public Meeting # 1.

Twelve stakeholder meetings (including homeowners' and neighborhood associations, non-profit organizations and agencies providing services to the area) were held in late 2012/early 2013. A second open house will be held on March 7, 2013, and a third open house will be in the summer of 2013. A public hearing is scheduled for the fall of 2013. Before construction can begin, the study must receive environmental clearance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which is anticipated in 2014. We encourage the public to join in on the discussion and stay involved with the project.


Context Sensitive Solutions

The Mobility Authority wants your help in defining the future Bergstrom Expressway roadway. Through a planning process called Context Sensitive Solutions, residents, businesses and other stakeholders are invited to work with a team of landscape architects and engineers to influence the design of the roadway, so that it reflects the communities’ cultural and historic values and aesthetic preferences.

“We recognize that this area will see a lot of development over the next 20 years. We want to ensure that the roadway reflects the character of existing neighborhoods and embraces the anticipated future growth of the area,” said Steve Pustelnyk, Director of Communications for the Mobility Authority.

What is important to you?  Do you prefer access to pedestrian bridges? Do you want the bicycle lanes to be separate?  Do you want the design to incorporate public art? Make use of recycled materials?  These are just a few of the preliminary CSS concepts that will be addressed as part of the study, both at the meetings and in the online survey. Designers will work with the community to develop a roadway that preserves and enhances the community while maintaining the safety and mobility of drivers and pedestrians. Public input is encouraged.


Public Input Needed at March 7th Open House

As we make progress on the environmental study, we’ll continue to need your input in the overall aesthetics for the project. The next public meeting on March 7th will focus on the preliminary concepts for the Bergstrom Expressway context sensitive solutions. Attend the public meeting and comment to begin New Ways to Get Moving!

Date:      Thursday, March 7, 2013

Time:      5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: East Austin College Prep
(formerly Solid Rock Church)
5800 E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Austin, TX 78721

Please be sure to forward your comments to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority by participating in the  Bergstrom Expressway Online Survey or by emailing, mailing or faxing your comments to the Mobility Authority. All public comments for the Context Sensitive Solutions portion of the Environmental Study are due by March 30, 2013.


Online Survey Available March 7th - New Ways to Get Moving

The Mobility Authority’s first interactive online survey will be available to the public beginning Thursday, March 7th. By clicking on the link below, you will have a new way to participate in the Bergstrom Expressway Environmental Study. If you cannot attend the public meeting, this is a great opportunity to tell us which context sensitive solutions are important to you. It’s quick, easy and simple. There is even a “share” feature that allows you to share the link with your family, friends, neighbors or coworkers, so they’ll have an opportunity to provide input, too.
Click here to take the survey
A kiosk will be available at the following locations March 8 -29, 2013: 

YMCA – East Communities Branch
5315 Ed Bluestein Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723

Ruiz Public Library
1600 Grove Blvd.
Austin, TX 78741

Let us know what you think about the online survey – Tweet us @BergstromExpy #NewWaysToGetMoving #ATX #BergstromExpy

  Bergstrom Expressway: New Ways to Get Moving!

P.O. Drawer 15426, Austin, TX 78761-5426
T: (512) 996-9778 F: (512) 996-9784
Click here to send us an email.

Bergstrom Expressway: New Ways to Get Moving!
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