LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — If you are a frequent driver on U.S. Highway 183 North between Liberty Hill & Leander, you know how drastic that growth has been in recent years.

You also can’t miss the construction crews working on Phase III of 183A.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is extending 183A between Leander and Liberty Hill near Hero Way and State Highway 29.

A change for business

Laurie Frederick spends a lot of time driving around on Williamson County roads.

“I’m with Feral Lifeguards, we are a trap neuter return cat rescue,” Frederick said.

When The Feral Lifeguards get a call about a cat in need, it usually takes Frederick on one of the highways in Leander, like 183A, which will soon take her up to Liberty Hill more quickly than before.

“We’re excited about the toll road…because we know that it’s going to allow us to get to some of this these requests, especially the urgent requests faster. But at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword. We know once a new road goes in once a toll road goes in, the population follows that and new subdivisions are going to start popping up along that toll road. Those farm cats that have been living there for generations are now going to be in the middle of a subdivision and we’re going to get more rescue requests along the toll road,” Frederick said.

The new subdivisions are already under construction in Leander and Liberty Hill.

“The projections have shown that by 2042, traffic is going to be nearly 200% greater than it is today,” Mike Sexton, the director of engineering for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), said.

Laurie Federick with Feral Lifeguards

The school district is also rapidly growing — expecting more than 10,000 new students in the next decade.

“So all those people need to get a way to get around. And this project is one of those things that we’ll be able to help them,” Sexton said.

While CTRMA is planning around a booming Williamson County population, Frederick and the Feral Lifeguards are doing what they can to control how many cats are born in the wild.

“It makes sense as far as getting as quickly from one place to another, but the rescuer in me also worries about plowing a new road, right through that habitat, whether it’s feral cats or other wildlife. We’re all going to have to adjust people and animals,” Frederick said.

Latest on 183A Phase III

The 183A Phase III expansion from Leander to Liberty Hill broke ground in April 2021 and is expected to be open for traffic in early 2025.

CTRMA is extending the existing 10-mile 183A Toll Road 5.3 miles northward from Hero Way to the north of SH 29.

The project will include two tolled lanes in each direction located primarily within the existing median of the U.S. 183 corridor, with an adjacent shared-use path from Hero Way to Seward Junction Loop.

The main lanes of 183A Phase III will be tolled, to access the free lanes, you will have to use the 183A service road.