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Context Sensitive Solutions

CTRMA Bergstrom Expressway

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) is a planning approach that gives communities an opportunity to influence the roadway design, so that it reflects their cultural and historic values and aesthetic preferences. The Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation conducted a 16-month planning and public input process that resulted in the design of the Bergstrom Expressway.

The public gave us input on major project design elements including bridges and retaining walls, landscape treatments, hardscapes, and aesthetic design elements to unify the look and feel of the corridor. Over a series of meetings, the public was invited to share their opinions regarding the context sensitive solutions for the project. The comprehensive CSS design was presented at the final CSS open house meeting, held on November 13, 2014 at East Austin College Prep. You can view all materials provided at that meeting below.


We asked the community to prioritize three concepts to be included in the design for the Bergstrom Expressway. The results of your input are shown below:

Click here to download and view the CSS Project Illustrative Plan for the Bergstrom Expressway.


The community identified enhanced landscape as the primary feature of the CSS design. Special neighborhood identity trees are used to provide a focal point for neighborhood entrances along the corridor. Enhanced landscape is achieved through the use of native, drought resistant plants that reduce water consumption and help to control soil erosion along the Bergstrom Expressway. Click here for more information.


Community connections highlights how the roadway can “knit the community together” by focusing on trailheads, crossings, and intersection design improvements for pedestrians. This concept includes wayfinding signs and exercise areas near existing trails crossing the Bergstrom Expressway, as well as lighting, shade, and seating along the shared use path. Click here for more information.


Regional identity emphasizes bridge and wall design to promote a strong identity along the corridor. This concept includes the use of both concrete and steel elements and a special design for the retaining walls. Click here for more information.


The Mobility Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of Austin have developed a set of Best Management Practices (BMPs), which describes how the large oak trees near Montopolis Drive are to be protected. To create the BMPs, the Mobility Authority invited tree preservation groups and representatives from the City of Austin, TxDOT and additional stakeholder groups to outline a comprehensive maintenance program, as well as ways to protect the trees before and during construction of the roadway. Click here for more information.


Other Materials from the November 13, 2014 Open House can be viewed as follows: