Sidewalks planned for dangerous section of I-35

It’s where the sidewalk ends and the danger begins along I-35; a treacherous stretch between William Cannon and Slaughter Lane. It’s a  route that Robert Adame says he won't take, but he has seen others make the dangerous walk.

“Yeah and it looks like they're about to be hit by a car every time,” said Adame.

That’s what happened early Monday morning. Austin police say a woman was hit by a car and killed while walking along the southbound frontage road near Corral Lane.

A review of APD crash records by FOX 7 shows that the woman is the fifth person to die on that section of roadway since 2005. During that same time frame there were also a total of 18 auto pedestrian injury accidents. Most of those cases happened near the main intersections.

Officials at TxDOT are aware of the problem and say they do have a plan. It’s part of the Mobility 35 Project which is redesigning I 35 from one end to Travis County to the other.

"If it is environmentally approved, and we have funding, we are hoping we can go to construction by 2019,” said agency spokesperson Kelli Reyna.

With completion not expected until after 2020, that's a long wait for sidewalks. Reyna says ADA regulations prohibit the agency from trying a quick fix, but my suggestion of cutting in a temporary gravel walk-way was not out of the question.

"There is an option that if the locals want to put in some interim type of sidewalk they could send out a request to us and we would definitely take a look at it to see if it is something we could accommodate in our right of way,” Reyna.

A spokesperson with the Austin Public Works Department was not aware of the option until fox 7 asked if a request had been made to TxDOT. Even if a request is made and temporary sidewalks are built Kenny Childers, who says he's been hit by a car, is not convinced the new sidewalks will totally eliminate the problem.

"This whole city is dangerous when it comes to pedestrians - the drivers don’t care,” said Childers.

Improvements North of William Cannon to Stassney is set to begin after the first of the year. The bulk of the multimillion dollar project will focus on building new overpasses and new on ramps, but it will also include putting in Shared-Use Pathways for pedestrians and bicycles.

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