Watch: Project Connect’s Blue Line has two options, and one would demand a lot more money

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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This rendering of Project Connect’s Blue Line would be the least expensive option.

Austin, Texas, residents have two options for the Project Connect Blue Line: expensive or not so expensive.

Officials released renderings of what the line would look like on April 26. Two options were offered. One has light rail and a shared-use path, while the other more expensive option would have light rail, a shared-use path, and a bus path. On the north side of the line the bus path will have to break off from the light rail path, which goes into a tunnel. Design calls for a double-decker bridge.

Peter Mullan, chief of architecture and urban design for the Austin Transit Partnership, said the design team figured out a way to do the line that maintains connectivity on the trail and provides the different, additional facility for buses that does not impair the operations of the light rail. The public will be able to weigh in on the options over the next several weeks.

A report revealed that Project Connect will cost $4.5 billion more than the original projection, but officials said the amount taxpayers will contribute would not change. Project phasing, however, could be impacted.

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