Nevermind, of course, that I35
is the main throughfare and most oft used intracity route through Austin
. In addition to being one of the most dangerous interstate highways in this here country
it holds the same title for the Travis County
area as well. Like the famed I35E
split in Hillsboro
, the highway divides in two for the span between downtown Austin
and the UT
campus. The idea is that the lower deck
provides easy access to downtown and campus and the upper deck
allows passersby and Nafta traffic to flow unabated past the often busy heart of the city. Like most of TXDoT
's bright ideas, this split only serves to confuse the city dwellers and road-weary travellers alike, causing an unusually high level of traffic to accumulate before the split in either direction.
What many people don't realize is that the reason that the leftmost two lanes form the lower deck (and also the many exits) and the bypass that is the upper deck is composed of the two right lanes is due to poor city planning. Originally, I35 was a two-lane affair through the campus area. However, when the city grew, it was soon noted that a cemetery and Concordia
University bound the banks of '35. Thus, adding a piggybacked two additional lanes was easiest to do when the right lanes were the add-ons, as opposed to reworking the lower deck or putting in new exits from the upper deck.
Thankfully, the lower deck is no longer the death trap it once was, due to many months of construction on the entrance ramps. But that's a topic for another node