Help Us Shape the Look of 183 South!
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is transforming US 183 into a modern expressway built for tolled and non-tolled travel. We have an opportunity to bring visual enhancements to the look and feel of the corridor, and want the aesthetic design to reflect the community’s cultural values and visual preferences.
We know from our previous outreach efforts that the community favors enhanced landscaping, community connections, and regional identity. We have a robust tree protection and landscaping plan in place, significant bicycle and pedestrian amenities planned, and a unique look for bridges along the corridor to give it a sense of place.
But we want to dig deeper into the concept of “regional identity.” We have an opportunity to bring visual enhancements to the look and feel of the corridor. We want to make sure those enhancements reflect the key features that make you proud to call east Austin home.
Learn more about the planned landscaping and aesthetic improvements along the corridor
A critical part of the 183 South Project is bringing aesthetic enhancements to the corridor. The project development team incorporated a comprehensive approach to design known as Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). The project development team’s intent by using this approach is to create a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation corridor that is appropriate for its setting and speaks to the needs and values of the surrounding community.
As part of the environmental study phase, the Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation conducted a 16-month CSS planning and public input process that resulted in the design aspects of the 183 South Project that are being constructed. This approach allows for public input to influence the final design such that it reflects the community's cultural and historic values and aesthetic preferences. This process yeilded the three priorities described below.
- Click here to download and view the CSS Project Illustrative Plan for the 183 South Project that will be incorporated into the project.
- Click here for a public-friendly version of the aesthetics package.
- Click here to view the virtual drive of the 183 South Project, which reflects how community input is being incorporated into the project. The community was asked to prioritize three concepts to be included in the design of the project. The results of your input are shown below:
1) ENHANCED LANDSCAPE
The community identified enhanced landscape as the primary feature of the CSS design. Special neighborhood- specific tree species will be used to provide a unique focal point for neighborhood entrances along the corridor. Enhanced landscape will be installed consisting of native, drought resistant plants that will reduce water consumption and help control soil erosion along US 183.
2) COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
Community connections highlights how the roadway can “knit the community together” by focusing on trailheads, roadway crossings, and intersection improvements for pedestrians. This concept includes wayfinding signs, exercise areas near existing trails, as well as enhanced lighting, shade, and seating along the shared use path.
3) REGIONAL IDENTITY
Regional identity emphasizes bridge and wall design to promote a strong identity along the corridor. This concept includes the use of unique and attractive design elements for various structures like bridges and retaining walls.
Large Oak Trees
Through community outreach and throughout the CSS Process, we learned that protection of large oak trees within the project corridor was important to the community. So the Mobility Authority has incentivized the project team to protect and preserve the large live oak trees located within the project limits, just south of Montopolis Drive near Callahan’s General Store. To help accomplish this, the Mobility Authority invited tree preservation groups and representatives from the City of Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation, and additional stakeholders groups to outline a comprehensive set of Best Management Practices (BMPs), which describe how the large oak trees near Montopolis Drive are to be protected before and during construction.
In addition, the project team worked with the community to identify the large oak trees that will be nurtured and protected during construction to minimize the risk of loss. The Mobility Authority has also partnered with Tree Folks to promote maintenance and expansion of the urban tree canopy in Austin. The Project includes the planting of hundreds of new trees along the corridor and the installation of native landscaping at key locations to help improve the visual appeal of the corridor.