Plans call for starting with two new toll lanes in each direction. A third lane in each direction in be added in years to follow. The mobility authority expects to have most of the new toll roads built in the current right-of-way along U.S. 183.
The extension would also include a shared use path north from Hero Way to the proposed Seward Junction Loop project. The estimated project cost is $260 million. Work is expected to begin in late 2020 and end in 2024.
State law provides that the mobility authority, as the local tolling entity, have the first opportunity to develop, finance, construct and run any new toll project in Travis and Williamson counties.
This map outlines the scope of work in the planned U.S. Highway 183A Phase 3 expansion. Image: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
Three years ago, CTRMA approved a work authorization with WSP USA Inc. for schematic design and environmental services on Phase 3. WSP USA has several offices nationwide and specializes in civil/infrastructure work.
This past January, CTRMA approved a contract with Rodriguez Transportation Group for engineering design services for this project. RTG has offices in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.
According to the mobility authority, population growth in Williamson County is driving expansion of this portion of U.S. 183. The populations of Cedar Park, Liberty Hill and Leander are projected to grow by 31% and 44% and 271%, respectively, by 2040.
“With this unprecedented growth, traffic volumes along US 183 are expected to increase by nearly 200 percent over the next 25 years, driving the need for proactive congestion relief,” CTRMA states on its project website.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.