HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 4:14 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 51,311
I-35 Cut & Cap Proposal

There's a thread going on in City Discussions about urban parks, and a few people brought up capped freeways in their city.
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=180839&page=3

Take a look at this:

This is a roof that is planned to be built atop the San Francisco TransBay Terminal. It would replace the ugly concrete roof with a green one, basically creating a rooftop park in the middle of downtown.

Before:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNGS1D2189.DTL

After: And as you can see with the messy freeway covered up, it could open up more development next to the freeway.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNGS1D2189.DTL


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNGS1D2189.DTL

Further reading on the one in San Francisco.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNGS1D2189.DTL

This is Woodall Rogers Park in Dallas.




http://www.renderosity.com/ballistic...ed-i-cms-14034


http://bennewelldallas.blogspot.com/...good-idea.html


http://untantonio.wordpress.com/2009...district-news/



Imagine having something like that in Austin on I-35 next to downtown.
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 4:48 PM
paulsjv paulsjv is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 520
That's awesome and they should do something like that for 35 from town lake through the upper and lower deck split.

Something tells me though that it will never come....

But isn't the city doing some sort of improvement to the 35 and 6th st area to make it more welcoming from east and west 6th?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 5:16 PM
Downtown_Austin's Avatar
Downtown_Austin Downtown_Austin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 398
Wow. What a great opportunity. Momentum for this has less to do with City of Austin and more to do with the State of Texas. Thanks for sharing, Kevin.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 5:34 PM
miaht82's Avatar
miaht82 miaht82 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: The Triangle
Posts: 1,316
That would be awesome. I hate the way freeways disconnect two neighborhoods in a city well within walking distance. This would be a great way to bring good use to wasted "space."

Funny thing is though (although not so funny,) that this "new" design trend seems to be a reversal of poor planning and short-sightedness from the past.
Here in San Antonio, 281 had two design plans in 1971: btw-this is Hildebrand/281 near UIW/Zoo/Alamo Stadium/Trinity Univ.
A.

and
B.


of course you can guess which one we ended up with. We could've had a tunneled freeway and better land-use.


Suburban areas are also thinking of using "air rights." Reston, VA is thinking of creating this TOD over the Dulles Toll Road, with the Metro now going to Dulles Airport.
__________________
The Raleigh Connoisseur
It is the city trying to escape the consequences of being a city
while still remaining a city. It is urban society trying to eat its
cake and keep it, too.
- Harlan Douglass, The Suburban Trend, 1925
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 5:41 PM
electricron's Avatar
electricron electricron is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Granbury, Texas
Posts: 3,109
Lightbulb

I just wanted to point out that the Woodall Rodgers Park is at least 25% financed by private donors.
Structure (Base Park) = $49 Million
Landscaping (Amenities) = $21 Million
Total (Construction) = $80 Million (Don't know where the last $10 Million went)
Federal (ARRA) = $16.7 Million
Federal Highway (FHA) and State (TXDOT)= $20 Million
City of Dallas (Bonds) = $20 Million
Private = $20-$25 Million

So, over 25% of the funds required to build this park is coming from private donors.
Source: http://www.woodallrodgerspark.org/Pr...ease.aspx?id=8

I'm not so sure that Austin or San Antonio can find $20-$25 Million in private financing for similar projects.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 6:16 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 51,311
You wouldn't even have to have this along the entire route of I-35 along side downtown. It could just be over I-35 along side the lower end of downtown, particularly from the river to say 12th Street.

It would probably be necessary though to bury I-35 creating a tunnel. Then the elevated lanes of I-35 could be demolished. Then the top of the tunnel could be turned into a green roof with the park on top. You could also maybe have a single boulevard bisecting the park to connect East Austin to downtown. Either 6th Street or 7th Street would probably be where it would go, although, with the CapMetro red line on 4th Street, it might have to be there instead since the train would have to get across somehow.

If only I were a billionaire.

I hate that freeways are so utilitarian. They are necessary of course, but I wish they could be designed in a way that they contribute more to a city than just transportation. I've always thought the space above highways is wasted. I wouldn't suggest building skyscrapers on top of them, but creating a relaxing park on top of something that is hard, harsh and even cold (and hot) is an attractive idea.
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 6:25 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 51,311
Another park that I thought was a brilliant idea is Freeway Park in Seattle. It's a 5 acre park that was built on top of I-5 near downtown. It has to be one of the most beautiful parks anywhere, and it's crazy to think that all that lush vegetation is on top of an interstate highway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeway_Park


http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtstrat...17347/sizes/l/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtstrat...7605634392088/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/leff/460779245/sizes/o/

More pictures and info here:
http://www.cityofseattle.net/PARKS/p...ail.asp?ID=312
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 6:28 PM
miaht82's Avatar
miaht82 miaht82 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: The Triangle
Posts: 1,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
I just wanted to point out that the Woodall Rodgers Park is at least 25% financed by private donors.

I'm not so sure that Austin or San Antonio can find $20-$25 Million in private financing for similar projects.
Depends who stands to gain, but you're right. Maybe we can start a penny collection at Fiesta & SXSW.

Althought I'm not so sure it would be considered a similar project, SA managed to raise $17 million for the River Improvements Project.
__________________
The Raleigh Connoisseur
It is the city trying to escape the consequences of being a city
while still remaining a city. It is urban society trying to eat its
cake and keep it, too.
- Harlan Douglass, The Suburban Trend, 1925

Last edited by miaht82; Apr 23, 2010 at 7:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2010, 11:38 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: North edge of Downtown
Posts: 2,997
Don't forget the "big dig" in Boston. What that created is wonderful! Worked there last spring. Truly reinvented that area of the city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2010, 7:04 AM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 2,905
The SF proposal does not cover up any freeway lanes. Those are bus ramps feeding in and out of the Trans Bay bus terminal. Some of the ramps connect with the Bay Bridge. The terminal was originally built for the commuter rail service from the East Bay that used the lower deck of the Bay Bridge until the early 1950s when it was abandoned. It has been a commuter bus station exclusively since that time.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2010, 1:33 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,193
The Big Dig ruined the prospects of starting this anywhere else for a long time; the projects in the pipeline now (like the plan at the top) were planned before the Big Dig implementation turned into such a fiasco.
__________________
Crackplog: M1EK's Bake-Sale of Bile
Twitter: @mdahmus
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:26 AM
bluedogok's Avatar
bluedogok bluedogok is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 804
A similar reuse type of project is The High Line in Manhattan. It was a former elevated freight rail line but it's conversion into a park is somewhat similar.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:41 AM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
The Big Dig ruined the prospects of starting this anywhere else for a long time; the projects in the pipeline now (like the plan at the top) were planned before the Big Dig implementation turned into such a fiasco.
The Big Dig shows that "no pain, no gain" holds true when it comes to finding ways to fix an urban environment. I know it was way over budget and a HUGE inconvenience to everybody, but the end result is that inner city Boston has been remarkably enhanced. I have not been up there in several years, but friends of mine come back just thrilled with the new park spaces and the removal of ugly overhead roadways. So what it if leaks a bit here and there? They seem to have gotten it fixed. I try to imagine Austin submitting to a similar remodeling effort for IH 35 or center city rail transit projects and come to the conclusion, similar to your own, that "It ain't going to happen." That is too bad because in the long run it really does need to happen in order for Austin to become a first rate city.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 9:07 AM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 429


I remember talking to Sinclair Black about his design proposal for part of I35 running through the city. He proposed a sunken highway with pocket parks and a boulevard where frontage exists today.

From the Austin Chronicle about Black's proposal:

Quote:
To remove the ugly barrier created by I-35 that divides East and West Austin, Sinclair Black developed this much-admired vision to move the interstate below grade through Downtown, for through-town traffic. Local drivers would use handsome new tree-lined boulevards at street level. Black's concept was forwarded to the Texas Department of Transportation by a Downtown Austin Alliance committee in reaction to a scary 1995 TxDOT scheme to rebuild I-35 as a three-level superhighway with massive flyovers into Downtown. Many Austinites still would love to see the interstate moved below grade – not only could it heal a civic scar, it could stimulate enormous economic development. But TxDOT shows no inclination to implement the plan. (Black said the agency promises to address it when SH 130 is completed.)
He showed me a lot of really neat images. Wish I could present them here. The one shown above is a model a few of his students built.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:44 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by austlar1 View Post
The Big Dig shows that "no pain, no gain" holds true when it comes to finding ways to fix an urban environment. I know it was way over budget and a HUGE inconvenience to everybody, but the end result is that inner city Boston has been remarkably enhanced. I have not been up there in several years, but friends of mine come back just thrilled with the new park spaces and the removal of ugly overhead roadways. So what it if leaks a bit here and there? They seem to have gotten it fixed. I try to imagine Austin submitting to a similar remodeling effort for IH 35 or center city rail transit projects and come to the conclusion, similar to your own, that "It ain't going to happen." That is too bad because in the long run it really does need to happen in order for Austin to become a first rate city.
I agree completely that the Big Dig turned out well for Boston in the end - but the narrative in the media is that it was an unsafe disaster that blew its budget; so just like how LA's subway almost killed subway construction for the rest of the country, so will the Big Dig for highway undergrounding.
__________________
Crackplog: M1EK's Bake-Sale of Bile
Twitter: @mdahmus
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 12:43 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 51,311
Besides the beautification and better land uses, having a sunken freeway with parkland surrounding it like that would soften the noise from the interstate itself. Also having vegetation surrounding a highway is a good way of offsetting the carbon dioxide pollution from cars.
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 12:16 PM
Armybrat Armybrat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 401
This is what East Avenue (now I-35) looked like when my family moved here in 1959 - looking south from 19th (now MLK) towards old Brackenridge Hospital:

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2010, 2:40 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 51,311
My brother was one of the last babies born in that old section of Brackenridge. It was demolished a few months later.
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2010, 6:00 PM
henrylightcap's Avatar
henrylightcap henrylightcap is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 15
What a great photo armybrat. You know, aesthetically speaking, I bet ANYONE seeing that photo today would choose that over the current keloid scar we now call I35. Of course while having a traditional boulevard instead of a highway is no longer practical, it certainly seems obvious that moving forward from the current design is needed - especially from a city with "progressive" aspirations.

But of course these things always come down to political will and money - there's the bottleneck.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 1:31 AM
arbeiter's Avatar
arbeiter arbeiter is offline
passion for patterns
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 10,336
The Big Dig was much more than capping a freeway, though. And I don't know if the cost overruns associated with it (and the engineering problems such as leaks) really have to do with capping it. Consider how much more water is near Boston's downtown, the amount of tunnels, etc.

Seattle's Freeway Park is fantastic by the way - it is a perfect blend of nature and a fairly attractive derivative of brutalism. The only thing that makes it 90% successful and not 100% successful is the fact that it basically connects downtown to First Hill, and First Hill (while partially residential) is very much a hospital district. So the result is that not a whole lot of people walk across Freeway Park from side to side. Some do but not a whole heck of a lot.

Now walk 2-3 blocks north of Freeway Park, and you'll see hundreds if not thousands of people walking up the hill to Capitol Hill and down to downtown every day. That is where they should have capped the freeway. Connecting dense employment with Seattle's densest neighborhood would have been a win win - whereas the Convention Center and hospitals kind of make the area a bit desolate.

However, I loved that desolation - I would spend time sitting on the benches at night (just waiting for a friend or listening to my iPod) and you'd occasionally see people walk by but it was not a steady stream.
__________________
you should know that I'm womanly wise
my website/blog. or, my flickr site.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:20 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.