Settlement May Clear Path for New Oak Hill Highway
See the press release below from Angela Richter, SBCA’s Executive Director.
For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2020
(Austin) A federal judge has ordered negotiations in a lawsuit over a planned freeway in southwest Austin, the “Oak Hill Parkway” (US 290 / TX 71).
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against TxDOT favor a plan to preserve hundreds of Oak Hill heritage trees and Williamson Creek, which recharges Barton Springs in Zilker Park. TxDOT and the plaintiff groups must meet by December 15th to see if a negotiated deal can be reached.
Fix 290, Save Barton Creek Association, and Save Oak Hill all want a ground-level freeway instead of the multilevel superhighway being planned for the area by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
With a recent fifty percent jump in project’s price tag from $488 million to $678 million, the groups believe the time is ripe for simplifying revisions to the project design.
Additionally, businesses that were along the bluff near the Y have recently closed. Access to these businesses was given by TxDOT as one of the reasons for their design of 6 access lanes and 6 main lanes through much of the project. Without these businesses, advocates say their parkway concept is an even easier choice.
“We’ve been asking for a better project for years” says resident Carol Cespedes, “Given the severe financial stresses to our State’s budget due to COVID-19 and the closing of businesses at the Oak Hill bluff we are hopeful that TxDOT will be open to changes that can speed up construction and minimize harm to the Oak Hill community and local environment.”
Save Barton Creek Association recently launched an adopt-a-tree program where residents and businesses can adopt one of the trees in TxDOTs path. The tree adopters will show their support for Save Oak Hill’s parkway option which would save many trees as well as Williamson Creek
Livable Oak Hill Concept: www.saveoakhill.org/livable-oak-hill
SBCA Adopt-a-Tree program: savebartoncreek.org/oak-hill-parkway