Hundreds rally in East Austin calling for stop to I-35 expansion plan

Hundreds rallied at Sanchez Elementary School in East Austin on Sunday morning to put a stop to the I-35 expansion plan.

"This is a buffer zone of 35 if that expansion goes this whole neighborhood goes too and the businesses," said resident Bertha Delgado.

The expansion plan has already broke ground, but Austinites continue to rally.


"One of the reasons why I wanted to speak not to tell you a lot of stories not to here to obliviate a number of things but to tell you thank you. Thank you for the children who cannot advocate for themselves against this project," said Austin City Council member Jose Velasquez (District 3).

TxDOT’s $4.5 billion revamp of I-35 through Austin proposes caps and stitches. A "cap" is a large deck over a stretch of highway that could be covered by parks or even buildings, while a stitch is essentially a widened bridge with extra landscaping, bike, and pedestrian space.

Those who attended the rally on Sunday are asking commissioners to rethink that plan.

"We're here today to tell TxDOT no more, ya basta," said Paul Saldaña with HABLA ATX.


Austinites of all ages gathered at the elementary school saying this is our city.

"You see children here today, lets here it from the small people who are coming out here today," says Austin Mayor pro tem Paige Ellis.

Austin elected officials are asking for Austin residents to go to city council meetings and let them know they're against the proposal.

"We need your energy and your passion you will be living with the outcomes of this project for the rest of your lives and your kids and grandkids will too," says council member Zo Qadri (District 9).

"The U.S Department of Transportation can step in and tell TxDOT they did it wrong. They can stop this project and demand that they have honest studies," says Bill Bunch with Save Our Springs Alliance.

The larger I-35 overhaul is slated to be done in 2032.