Highway construction at the 71/290 Y at Oak Hill
Being in South Austin Texas this topic has been a hot topic for years. There have been plans to build some kind of extension on the highway where the freeway ends in a two lane road into a stop light. It does not take much figuring to realize that putting a stop light at the end of a freeway is likely to cause a traffic jam and it does. As you enter Oak Hill from highway 71 in coming from downtown Austin you will hit this stop light. They have just announced plans to do more studies. Now don’t get too excited…the studies can take as long as 4 years to complete. Long story short it looks likely we will not have this freeway extension for some time. There was an approval at one time for a 6 lane toll road but it seems people would prefer to sit in traffic than pay to drive on a road in addition to the Austin community feeling the 6 lane highway was not “green” enough, a valid concern.
As a resident of south Austin I would like to see them build something as I have sat at that light many many times. According to the Austin American Statesman the traffic on the road in 2010 was over 57,000 cars a day. As more and more neighborhoods are built out 290 and 71 like Belterra, Highpoint, Stone ledge, and many more we will see more of a demand and the traffic levels will likely increase. You also must access this road to reach Dripping Springs when traveling from Downtown Austin.
My feeling??? Build the road, we need it. It seems they should be able to do the research and build the road in the most environmentally conscious way possible. If it costs a little more to build it that way make one of the lanes a toll road, people will pay to keep moving and bring the cost of the road down for the rest of the commuters between central Austin and southwest Austin. I know I would pay:).
Link to the Austin American Statesman article:http://www.statesman.com/news/news/transportation/txdot-begins-new-study-of-oak-hill-y-road-project/nSgJW/