The History of the Oak Hill Parkway
The intersection of US 290 and SH 71 has long been identified as a heavily congested intersection in need of solutions. In fact, improvements for this intersection have been included in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's (CAMPO) Long Range Transportation Plan for over 25 years. CAMPO is the designated metropolitan planning organization for the greater-Austin area.
- Aug. 22, 1985 – Record of Decision (ROD) issued for a Final Environmental Impact Statement covering improvements to US 290 and SH 71 from RM 1826 to FM 973. The mid-section of the original project limits, between east of Williamson Creek and Riverside Drive, has been completed.
- July 12, 2004 – CAMPO approved amendments to their 2030 regional transportation plan establishing an area–wide system of toll roads. Under these amendments, the US 290/SH 71 West corridor from west of RM 1826 to east of Williamson Creek could be tolled.
- Summer 2005 – TxDOT presented designs for US 290/SH 71 West corridor from RM 1826 to east of Williamson Creek. Public input resulted in several design changes to better serve the community.
- Nov. 16, 2005 – In a letter to TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), several groups including Save Our Springs, Save Barton Creek Association and the South Windmill Run Neighborhood Association jointly requested that a full EIS be completed for the US 290/SH 71 West project that included the TxDOT designs as well as a design that was created during an alternatives evaluation process.
- Spring 2006 – Fix290, the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods, and the Oak Hill Business and Professional Association, with assistance from the City of Austin, proposed a Context Sensitive Solution for Oak Hill. The CSS proposal was for a ground level roadway design concept. TxDOT conducted meetings with stakeholders and held CSS Open House Meetings.
- Spring/Summer 2007 – TxDOT participated in seven meetings with Fix290 and other stakeholders that were facilitated by the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law. These meetings were held to discuss different design options being prepared by TxDOT. No consensus was reached during this mediation.
- Aug. 15, 2008 – A Notice of Intent (NOI) was published in the Federal Register announcing TxDOT's intent to prepare a limited–scope Supplemental EIS (SEIS) for US 290/SH 71 West through Oak Hill. Due to funding constraints, this limited–scope SEIS was halted.
- July 2011 – The Mobility Authority, in partnership with TxDOT, hosted the Green Mobility Challenge, a sustainable design competition that challenged Texas' most creative landscape architects, planners and engineers to propose better ways of constructing, operating and maintaining future transportation projects, including the intersection of US 290 and SH 71.
- Spring 2012 – In an effort to reduce congestion within the US 290/SH 71 West corridor, TxDOT, in cooperation with the City of Austin and Travis County, proposed to improve mobility at five intersections within the study area by constructing interim intersection improvements.
- July 2012 – A rescission of the 2008 NOI to prepare a limited–scope SEIS for US 290/SH 71 West through Oak Hill was published in the Federal Register and the Texas Register.
- Oct. 2012 – NOIs were published in the Federal Register and the Texas Register announcing TxDOT's intent to prepare an EIS for US 290/SH 71 West through Oak Hill.
- 2014-2015 – Interim intersection improvements in the US 290 corridor were opened to traffic
- May 2018 – TxDOT and the Mobility Authority published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for agency and public comment. The project is now proposed as a non-tolled roadway.
- Dec. 2018 – TxDOT published the Final Environmental Impact Statement and received a Record of Decision in support of the Build Alternative.
- May 2019 – TxDOT received approval of the EIS Re-Evaluation No. 1.
- Feb. 2020 – TxDOT received approval of the EIS Re-Evaluation No. 2.
- Aug. 10, 2020 – TxDOT authorized Colorado River Constructors (CRC), the selected Design-Build contractor, to begin their contract to design and build the project.