I-35 Expansion

The I-35 expansion promises to make the highway ever wider; further dividing our city, polluting our river, and wasting our state budget on antiquated views of mobility. Many activist organizations are teaming up to fight the expansion in court. Here’s what’s happening and how you can help!

What’s Happening?

TxDOT is set to start construction on a massive I-35 expansion through central Austin in mid-2024. Local groups and elected officials have raised major concerns and opposition to the project, including:

TxDOT has yet to listen to the public, to elected officials, and to common sense that shows highways have been a fatal and failed experiment in moving people safely and efficiently around the US.

Rethink35 Lawsuit

Rethink35 and 16 other plaintiffs have sued TxDOT. The lawsuit alleges:

Civil Rights (Title VI) Complaint

Rethink35 has also filed a Title VI civil rights complaint. The complaint alleges:

  • I-35 was built to be intentionally discriminatory by replacing East Ave and solidifying a line of segregation between East and West Austin.
  • Under Title VI, agencies with a history of prior discrimination have a responsibility to take affirmative action to redress previous injustices.
  • Instead, this project exacerbates these very same harmful practices by:
    • Displacing people from homes and businesses. 86% of the displaced are in Environmental Justice communities (ie. low income, and people of color).
    • More than doubling the number of lane miles of I-35. Thus widening the barrier between East and West Austin.
    • Dumping polluted storm water into a Wildlife Sanctuary in East Austin, continuing a long-standing pattern of moving environmental waste from downtown to East Austin.
    • Worsening air quality, climate change, and increasing summer temperatures, all of which disproportionately burden communities of color.