PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) - Tired of traffic of Interstate 35, but hate the tolls on State Highway 130?
A proposal at the Capitol could coax you to that less-traveled stretch and ease congestion on the Austin-area's main artery. The idea is to eliminate tolls on SH 130.
"Oh, I would use it," said Paul Arguello, a Pflugerville driver asked about the pitch. "Definitely use it. It would be faster."
The stretch of SH 130 in Pflugerville sees about 43,000 cars a day - about a fifth of what I-35 sees in Central Austin. Even with that smaller number, there is money to be made.
"These trucks - it's going to cost them over $100 in one trip to go up and down it," said Eric Belota, another driver.
The Central Texas Turnpike System says SH 130 tolls bring in $100 million annually, and within a decade it should be $250 million a year.
The bill is authored by Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin. Under his plan, lawmakers would use $1.5 billion from the state's rainy day fund, if Texas is able to get a new $1.5 billion federal grant.
The $3 billion total would be used to purchase the 41-mile, privately-operated portion of the road from Mustang Ridge to Seguin. The remainder would be used to pay off a chunk of what the Texas Department of Transportation borrowed a decade ago to build the upper 49-mile section between Mustang Ridge and Georgetown.
Workman's plan is considered a long shot at the Capitol though, but it was assigned the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
TxTAG’s customer call center lines are jammed as toll road violators scramble to pay up and avoid staying on a published scofflaw list.
The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.
One woman died early Wednesday after several shots were fired at a North Austin mechanic shop.
UPDATE // The two teenage girls missing since Saturday night were found safe at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Leander police said.
FEMA teams will be back in Southeast Austin to assess damage to public property like roads, bridges, and parks.