Notable Projects

Loop 360 Improvement Project

TxDOT Transportation Planning and Programming & TxDOT Austin District

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NLA worked closely with TxDOT on the Loop 360 Improvement Study in Austin, Texas. Prior to this study, improvement of the Loop 360 corridor was stalled two times due to public opposition (concerns related to visual, economic, environmental & community impacts). In 2015, average peak-hour speeds were as low as 19.9 miles per hour and three sections of the corridor ranked in Texas’s top 100 most congested roadways. NLA lead the TxDOT public outreach that helped gain stakeholder consensus and utilized grassroots public involvement methodology to help identify potential solutions to a historically controversial project area along Loop 360 in Austin.

NLA led the efforts for TxDOT in the public outreach campaign which primarily involved stakeholder meetings with six section working groups that were comprised of local leaders, community organization leaders, property owners and business owners along the corridor focusing on major intersections along Loop 360. Additionally, NLA coordinated regular meetings with adjacent businesses and neighborhoods, prepared monthly newsletters and updates, and conducted a public survey that generated over 3600 responses and utilized feedback from those channels to compose a comprehensive report of studied and evaluated alternatives. This study helped to ultimately develop feasible solutions for moving forward with improvements. This study spanned 2 years from October 2014 to December 2016.

Mobility35 Projects

TxDOT Austin District

Travis, Hays & Williamson Counties

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NLA has been working on I-35 projects since 2001. NLA served as the Public Involvement (PI)lead for the General Engineering Consultant (GEC) team responsible for various statewide I-35 corridor planning and environmental study efforts from 2003 to 2012. NLA remained the PI lead for the GEC of the Capital area portion (Williamson, Travis and Hays Counties) Mobility35 from 2014 to 2021. Mobility35 addresses congestion, mobility, freight/economic development, and safety issues in the corridor. NLA also manages/managed several of the environmental and design projects along the I-35 corridor including: I-35 at Riverside, I-35 from Rundberg Lane to US 290E, I-35 at RM 2243, the Hays County Feasibility Study, Northeast San Antonio Expansion, Kyle Crossing to RM 150, I-35 at SH 123, north of River Ridge Parkway to south of Loop 82, I-35 at 51st Street, SE Inner Loop to RM 1431 (southbound), I-35 Capital Express South and I-35 Capital Express North.

I-35 Capital Express South Project 

The I-35 Capital Express South project is part of a larger program focused on a highly congested section of I-35 (from US 290 West / SH 71 / Ben White Boulevard to SH 45 Southeast) where additional safety and mobility improvements are needed in Austin. I-35 is a massive, and heavily traveled corridor and the variety of stakeholders along this corridor requires innovative and customized tools and techniques to effectively communicate and gather feedback. NLA was the Public Involvement lead on the I-35 Capital Express South Environmental Assessment study and provided expertise in modifying traditional outreach techniques to best fit the project area all stages of project development and to effectively target stakeholders working as a subconsultant for Atkins North America, Inc. NLA effectively planned and coordinated notifications and arrangements for an open house meeting in 2019, a virtual stakeholder meeting in 2020, and a virtual public hearing with in-person option in 2021. To effectively reach a wide audience, a combination of both traditional and virtual communication was used to gather feedback on the proposed improvements. NLA worked with the Mobility35 GEC to provide information and materials for the virtual public meeting to display all materials online to interested parties that could not attend the in-person meeting. NLA continues to work seamlessly with the Mobility35 GEC to excel in public involvement development for TxDOT in the Plans, Specifications and Estimates (PS&E) phase of project development.

I-35 from SE Inner Loop to RM 1431 (southbound)

The NLA team recently completed work in 2021 on the I-35 from SE Inner Loop to RM 1431 project as a subconsultant to WSP. This project presented several complexities including changing traffic patterns for the intersection changes between I-35 and Westinghouse Road, in addition to the typical concerns of future right-of-way acquisition to adjacent property owners; bike/pedestrian facility additions; and access and business impacts during construction.
NLA used a comprehensive outreach approach to coordinate and communicate with stakeholders, local elected and public officials and leadership on this project while coordinating an Open House and an in-person Public Hearing with a virtual component.

Oak Hill Parkway

(The “Y” in Oak Hill)

TxDOT Austin District

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NLA managed public involvement efforts for the Oak Hill Parkway Project from 2011 to 2019 as a subconsultant to RTG, working with TxDOT to find an effective, efficient and responsible solution to the traffic congestion along the US 290/SH 71 corridor in Oak Hill. This high-profile project was contentious due to significant opposition from local neighborhood, community and environmental groups. NLA was vital in helping to provide early, informed and transparent project outreach throughout the process.
In a coordinated effort with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), NLA helped the TxDOT side of the collaborative team with a full range of outreach services, including:

  • One public hearing with an online virtual open house with 446 official comments received
  • Six open house meetings with tandem online virtual open houses with 669 official comments received
  • More than 80 stakeholder meetings
  • Fourteen issue-specific workshops including topics such as water quality; finance; bicycle and pedestrian facilities; evaluation criteria; design; mobility; and several context sensitive solutions
  • A mobile-friendly public website with continuous online comment capability
  • Online tools to collect feedback such as virtual open house meetings, surveys (including MetroQuest), and social media
  • More than 30 electronic newsletters / e-blasts
  • More than 800 social media posts to keep the public informed and engaged throughout the project’s environmental process

The project received a Record of Decision for its Environmental Impact Statement in December 2018. NLA is currently serving as public involvement support to the Atkins North America, Inc. on the Construction Engineering Inspection (CEI) team working on the construction of the Oak Hill Parkway project.

US 87 Improvement Project

TxDOT Amarillo District

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Between 2020 to 2021, NLA worked closely with the TxDOT Amarillo District as a subconsultant to Garver, to provide public outreach services on the schematic design and environmental study of the project in Hartley and Moore counties. This rural project spans 19 miles east of the US 385 Interchange near Hartley to FM 2589 west of Dumas. The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility, connectivity and safety along the US 87 corridor. The proposed improvements include expanding from the current super-two configuration into a four-lane divided highway, and would impact many adjacent rural property owners with homesteads and farming businesses.

I-69 Driven By Texans

TxDOT Planning & Programming Division

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NLA has been the public involvement task lead on a variety of projects focused on I-69 in Texas since 2009 to present. NLA worked on both the advisory and segment committees that were established for I-69, including work directly with the I-69 Advisory Committee. In addition, the team has worked on many projects focused along the I-69 corridor. Each specific project worked to help TxDOT accomplish the completion of I-69 to interstate standards in Texas. Some of those I-69 specific projects include the following:

  • US 59 Texarkana-Queen City Route Study
  • SH 44 Robstown Route Study
  • US 281 at Premont
  • I-69 System (I-369) Harrison County/Marshall Route Study
  • I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Scoping Study

For each of these projects, NLA managed all public outreach efforts. Core responsibilities included contact list creation and maintenance, development of and distribution of notifications, meeting and workshop logistics and planning (Open Houses/Public Hearings, workshops, I-69 Advisory Committee meetings), survey development and implementation (i.e., MetroQuest and SurveyMonkey), materials development, and summary reporting. NLA also coordinated efforts on special projects regarding I-69 for state and federal elected officials, and all other public involvement tasks as requested.