US 183 to add 6 lanes at a cost of $56 million per mile


AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of Austin’s busiest and most congested commuter routes will soon get a six-lane expansion.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority plans to add two toll lanes and one general lane in each direction of US 183 between MoPac and State Highway 45 near Cedar Park.

With a $504 million price tag, the nine-mile project costs an average of $56 million per mile. 

The Texas Department of Transportation will fund the non-tolled portion — $104 million worth — with federal dollars.

Currently, the morning commute through the stretch of road takes roughly 12-13 minutes. CTRMA estimates it could take up to four times as long by 2035, with the average speed dropping down to as slow as 10 mph.

“It’s going to get progressively worse. This will be a red zone in terms of congestions, it’ll break down,” CTRMA Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein said.

The $400 million CTRMA portion of the project will be paid for by toll users. Heiligenstein estimates the toll could be as low as $0.50 during off-peak hours and as much as $8 during rush hour.

“All of that money is paid back by the users of the system and that will be paid back over a 30-year period,” Heiligenstein said.

Construction on the project is expected to begin at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021 and scheduled to take four years to complete.

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