A proposed project that would expand SH 45 from MoPac to 1626 and make it a toll way is being met with some opposition from nearby residents and environmental groups.
According to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, growth in Southern Travis County and Northern Hays County increased by more than 200 percent from 1990 to 2010. As a result, roadways in the area are congested as drivers try to access MoPac and get to downtown. Those who support expanding 45SW believe it will improve traffic and provide an efficient alternative route.
"This is an opportunity for people to get where they want to go: downtown or through neighborhoods in a way that provides and alternative. It's an environmentally sensitive area and so we'll be sure any project that does take place takes into account the best practices to ensure water quality," said Rick L'Amie with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
It's the potential environmental impact that's a concern to several environmental groups and residents. "All this infrastructure built on the aquifer and it's going to be a huge project and there are environmental concerns that need to be addressed. Also, all this traffic that is going to come through this area and I think we're not built for that," said David Bosada, a Circle C resident.
Construction would be paid for by Travis and Hays counties and would not begin until after 2015, if the project does get approved. An environmental study is currently being conducted.