Funding approved for SH 45SW toll project

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s another step forward for the SH 45SW project. On Thursday, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation approved the funding agreement to start on the construction of the 3.6-mile toll road that straddles southwest Travis County and northwest Hays County.

The agreement includes a state grant and a State Highway Fund loan agreement. In December, the Texas Transportation Commission approved the final $60 million needed to make the project a reality. The money will be paid to the CTRMA and added to the previous grand of $28.9 million from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).

“When seconds matter, this transformative mobility project will save commuters valuable time over local routes to access Austin’s downtown core,” said Gerald Daugherty, Travis County Commissioner, Precinct Three, in a statement. ”This project is long overdue and this funding agreement locks down the financing necessary to complete the project. The people of Southwest Travis County have suffered long enough and deserve that this vital project move forward.”

Once complete, SH 45SW will connect MoPac eastward to Farm to Market 1626 in Hays County with two lanes in each direction. To address some of the environmental concerns, developers say the project will feature extensive water quality protection measures as well as bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. A lawsuit filed earlier this year in federal court sought an injunction on the construction. The lawsuit claims the agencies in charge of the project, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, launched the projects without “undertaking any advance look at the cumulative environmental consequences of their action and without considering any alternatives to their South MoPac endeavor.

Officials say once construction starts, the project will take approximately three years to complete.

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