Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Continuous infrastructure improvements cause highway congestion between Austin, San Antonio

Alex Luevano

Constant highway and infrastructure improvements on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio have caused traffic congestion in the area, affecting students who drive on it frequently.

Austin and San Antonio regions are projected to nearly double in population and employment by 2050, so infrastructure and mobility improvements on I-35 are needed to accommodate this ongoing growth, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson said in an email. 

“As the region grows, increased traffic volumes will lead to greater congestion, if nothing is done,” the TxDOT spokesperson said. 

One of the construction projects, I-35 Capital Express South, began in late 2022 and is expected to finish in 2028. TxDOT said the project will add two HOV lanes in each direction to “promote safety and mobility” along I-35. Other safety improvements within the project include relocating entrance and exit ramps and adding and improving bicycle and pedestrian paths. Other smaller-scale construction projects also contribute to the congestion. 

Joshua Martinez, a communication and leadership sophomore, said he travels between Austin and San Antonio about twice a week and traffic can slow his travels down by about 30 minutes. He said the traffic is consistent since none of the construction projects are finished yet. 

“Honestly, I’ve always seen it the same, and sometimes (road conditions) get worse getting out of San Antonio. The road is very bad,” Joshua Martinez said. 

Biology freshman Arsela Martinez said she noticed the traffic since she’s been at college. She said she always sees people working on the construction, especially around the areas of Austin and San Marcos. 

“You could definitely see (the construction) towards the sides (of the highway), and I feel like it does make traffic a little worse, which can make my drive to San Antonio a little bit more dreadful,” Arsela Martinez said. 

Joshua Martinez said the traffic is heavier at certain hours of the day, so he tries to plan his drives with traffic patterns in mind.

“Because of the construction, I will just rather avoid driving at certain hours,” Joshua Martinez said. “I’ll just prefer to drive at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. because there won’t be any traffic at those times, so it somehow impacts my daily schedule.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Luevano, Associate Photo Editor
Alex is a four year RTF major from San Antonio, TX. He is currently an Associate Photo Editor at the Texan.