Here's the Latest on
Oak Hill Parkway

Check out our informational videos!

New to the project? Get up to speed with our new Oak Hill Parkway videos! The first one features a general overview of the project and the problem we’re trying to solve. The second and third videos, each about 3 minutes long, explore the process that TxDOT and the Mobility Authority have followed to get to our two proposed build alternatives and the no build, or “do nothing”, alternative.

As you will see, community involvement has played a key role in shaping the direction of the project, as TxDOT and the Mobility Authority believe communities make projects better.

All three videos can be viewed here.

Rolling up our sleeves to dig into the science

This year, the environmental study team began the robust analysis of our two proposed build alternatives and the no build, or ‘do nothing’, alternative against the latest phase of evaluation criteria. This process includes collecting and analyzing data and quantifying any potential impacts to the human and natural environment. The results of this analysis will indicate the preferred alternative and will be released for public review and comment in early 2017. The release of the environmental study document, known as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, will also lead to a public hearing where the document and preferred alternative will be presented to the public. We anticipate that event occurring in early 2017.

This past June, we held an Environmental Workshop that featured an exploration into the science behind the Oak Hill Parkway environmental study. Attendees learned about the environmental process and received information about the studies conducted on biological resources, archeology, air quality, trees, and more.

If you missed the workshop, you can download and review the presentation and event recap by clicking here.

At the workshop, the community showed great interest in the noise analysis studies. If you haven't read our noise study update in the event recap, check it out here (scroll down to the Q&A section). We will be returning this fall with another community workshop that will provide the preliminary results of the noise study, as well as an update on trees.

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.

Aesthetics Prioritization Update

The Oak Hill Parkway project team would like the aesthetics budget for the project to reflect community priorities. At the environmental workshop and through an online survey, we asked the community to prioritize five different elements: tree relocation, new tree plantings, landscaping, structures, and bicycle/pedestrian enhancements. We're still processing the results of this survey, but a preliminary look at the data shows us that interest varied overall across all participants in the prioritization of tree relocation vs. new tree plantings vs. bicycle/pedestrian enhancements; no clear community priority is evident at this time. As such, we will continue to work with the community regarding aesthetics and context sensitive solutions.

Your participation in the process helps us improve long-term mobility by identifying a solution that not only addresses traffic congestion, but honors the heritage of Oak Hill, respects the environment and adds value to the Oak Hill community.


  • Oak Hill was founded as Live Oak Springs on a Mexican land grant awarded to William Cannon in 1835.
  • Oak Hill was named Oatmanville in 1869, reflecting its location along the Austin and Oatmanville Railway. The railway hauled limestone used in the construction of the State Capitol building.
  • An estimated one-third of the State Capitol’s walls are lined with limestone from Oak Hill quarries!

FOCUS: Update on Water Quality

When US 290 and SH 71 were originally constructed, water quality measures were minimal or nonexistent. At a minimum, the Oak Hill Parkway project would incorporate water quality protection measures for US 290 and SH 71 to ensure the highways would meet required regulations to provide treatment of stormwater runoff from the project before discharging into Williamson Creek and its tributaries. Water quality protection measures being considered on the project could include: vegetative filter strips, grassy swales, sedimentation/sand filtration basins, bio-retention ponds, extended detention basins, and regional water quality.

Water quality protection regulations applicable to US 290 and SH 71 include: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Edwards Aquifer Protection Program; US Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; TCEQ Section 401 Water Quality Certification; and TCEQ Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System Stormwater permit.

The project would also add two upstream detention facilities to offset the increase in impervious cover, reduce flooding, and minimize roadway elevation. Upstream detention facilities would provide a regional benefit by reducing flood flows between the ponds and the project right-of-way; however, all detention capacity would be needed by the Oak Hill Parkway project. Ponds would be constructed to maximize community benefit (in addition to serving the project purpose), but would not remove responsibility from private developers to mitigate flooding impacts and to treat stormwater runoff from their own commercial properties. The existing trees and vegetation on the properties that would be used by the Oak Hill Parkway project for detention would not be removed during construction. The project team continues to work with the city of Austin to determine if they want to collaborate with these water quantity efforts.

Proposed upstream detention facility locations:
  • Old Bee Caves Road near Sunset Ridge 
    • Maximum available storage is approximately 100 acre-feet or 32 million gallons
    • Pond surface area is approximately 13 acres
  • SH 71 near Covered Bridge Drive 
    • Maximum available storage is approximately 45 acre-feet or 15 million gallons
    • Pond surface area is approximately 12 acres
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will include the results of the water resources (floodplains, water quality, wetlands, and waters of the US) studies.

FOCUS: Update on Transit

The Oak Hill Parkway design alternatives account for future mobility needs such as rapid bus routes, which are consistent with regional planning efforts. Coordination is currently underway with Capital Metro for possible access improvements for park-and-ride facilities and bus pull out locations.
  • POTENTIAL PARK-AND-RIDE AREAS: Park-and-Rides are a municipal system that provides free parking for suburban commuters at an outlying terminus of a bus or rail line. The project team is exploring places both inside and outside of the right-of-way to be used for a potential Park-and-Ride facility.
  • BUS PULL OUT ENHANCEMENTS: These transit facilities are a designated spot on the side of a road where buses pull out of the flow of traffic to pick up and drop off passengers. They are often indented into the sidewalk or other pedestrian areas. The project team is exploring 10 areas for potential bus pull outs.
In addition, if the project is approved as a toll facility, Capital Metro buses and registered van pools would receive the benefit of reliable travel times and use of the facility without paying a toll.

Community Outreach Continues

On April 23 and 24, 2016, the project team hosted an Oak Hill Parkway information booth at the Founders Day Festival in downtown Dripping Springs and on April 30, 2016, a similar informational booth was provided at the Lake Travis SpringFest in Bee Cave. Project team members were on hand to answer questions about the project and to gather input from commuters about their experiences commuting on SH 71/US 290 through Oak Hill to their respective workplaces or destinations.

In Dripping Springs, the project team reported generally positive verbal comments from the public at the event; many attendees were in support of the project being built. In Bee Cave, the project team reported that most verbal comments from the public indicated that they avoided traveling through the SH 71/US 290 intersection in Oak Hill if at all possible due to the congestion. However, they would still like to see improvements built to make this route a viable option for their commute.

Stakeholders interested in the Oak Hill Parkway learn more at our information booths

If you’d like to provide your input or ask the Oak Hill Parkway project team to provide your organization or group with a presentation or meeting, please contact us!

Y’all Find Creative Routes to Avoid the Y

Avoiding traffic congestion at the “Y” continues to be a habit for many users of US 290 and SH 71 traveling from outside of Oak Hill. Some Dripping Springs and Bee Cave area stakeholders have shared the routes they use today through neighborhoods to avoid the ‘Y’:
  • Old Bee Caves Road to SH 71 at Thomas Springs Road to Hamilton Pool Road
  • Southwest Parkway to New Boston and then a turnaround on US 290
  • Convict Hill Road to Slaughter Lane or William Cannon Drive
  • Scenic Brook Drive to SH 71 to Old Bee Caves Road
  • Nutty Brown Road to RM 1826 to SH 45
  • RM 150 to Darden Hill Road to RM 1826 to SH 45 to Loop 1
  • RM 1826 to Slaughter Lane
  • Circle Drive to Thomas Springs Road to Old Bee Caves Road to Barton Creek Boulevard to Lost Creek Boulevard

Check out our creative routes exhibits by clicking here.

The Oak Hill Parkway would more than double the existing capacity through the “Y” at US 290 and SH 71. Circle Drive, Scenic Brook Drive, Thomas Springs Road, and other roads should see a reduction of cut-through traffic if the project is constructed.
Sometimes we’re asked if the project would be smaller if the project wasn’t proposed as a toll facility.
Traffic demand on this corridor is so high that we must design to fit the needs along the corridor today and best manage the traffic projections of tomorrow. The proposed design would be essentially the same if it was to be built non-tolled, making the project footprint about the same. To change the project to a non-tolled facility, one entrance ramp and one exit ramp near McCarty Lane, and one entrance ramp and one exit ramp near Scenic Brook Drive would be reduced from 2 lanes to 1 lane. This equates to less than 1% reduction in the overall amount of concrete pavement required for Alternatives A and C. The rest of the project would remain as proposed.

Stay engaged

• Follow us on Twitter @OakHillParkway
• Schedule a presentation for your organization
• Contact us by calling 512-996-9778 or online
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