LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) - Long known for their many fantastic barbecue restaurants, Lockhart could become more than a food lover's paradise when the new State Highway 130 toll road opens on Thursday.<
"There's been a lot of excitement about it," said Barrett Black at Black's BBQ. "We hope it will bring a lot of business and growth to Lockhart."
SH 130 will run from Seguin to Austin and pass alongside Lockhart. Officials were expected to take down the barriers to the new stretch around noon and the entire section should be ready to handle traffic by 1:30 p.m.
It could take traffic off of Interstate Highway 35 and send drivers through the town that, up until now, has sat relatively off the beaten path.
"A lot of people come to Lockhart for barbecue, but being away from I-35 has made it difficult," said Black. "But with [Hwy.] 130, all kinds of people will be able to drop by."
But not everyone thinks the new road will be a business boom.
"The property values for most of the stretch along [Hwy.] 130 will decrease slightly," said Dave Mills with Lockhart Realty.
Mills says typically new toll roads bring higher property values at intersections with other major thoroughfares.
But the opposite is true for the rest of the highway.
"All other properties along it decrease in value because the people who want property do not want to be bothered by noise and pollution," said Mills
Opinions about SH 130 have varied in the BBQ Capital of Texas.
"You got factions all over the issue," said Mills. "It is all a matter of perspective and who benefits."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open SH 130 will take place just west of Lockhart at the SH 130 and State Highway 142.
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