Clarification: On Thursday I should have noted that, unlike most Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, the Seaholm TIRZ did not issue any debt.
You may have noticed there was no newsletter yesterday. My rule of thumb is to take off every city holiday.
Hungry, hungry highway
On City Council's agenda next week is a proposed cost-sharing agreement with the Texas Dept of Transportation for the construction of "the 300-ft wide deck structure at Woodland Avenue over IH-35."
The city's estimated share is $14.27 million.
One of the few potential bright spots of TxDOT's planned highway expansion is a pedestrian/bike crossing at Woodland. The "baseline" TxDOT proposal would be a 70-ft bridge, which they would pay for. However, they have generously offered to let the city pay to turn this simple bridge into a somewhat bigger and nicer "stitch."
Whence comes this $14M+?
You may recall that in 2020, in addition to Project Connect, Austin voters approved an unprecedented $460 million bond for active transportation. It's this pot of gold city staff wants to dig into. Specifically, it is targeting the $90 million of money left from the $120 million allocated in the bond for sidewalks and bikeways.
There are two problems here.