Why the character of Central Texas runs deep – Austin Business Journal – Austin Business Journal

Central Texas is a lot of things. It’s both the big city bustle of Austin and the small town charm of Manor. It’s both the gateway to Hill Country and home of Brushy Creek. There’s a wide spectrum of character and beauty in the people and qualities of our community – it’s what makes Central Texas great.
So it’s no wonder why our region keeps growing. While rapid change like what we continue to experience can often be a difficult pill to swallow, it’s the way we choose to embrace our growing community that’s the key to managing our region’s future and preserving its character.
It’s why the Mobility Authority has chosen alternate tactics in delivering mobility solutions and expanding our transportation network. We’ve found that by prioritizing infrastructure resiliency, supporting local economic development, and protecting our environment, we achieve win-win outcomes – that we sustain all the things we love about Central Texas.
Mobility and preservation, united
The 45SW Toll Road, for example, has proven successful in both reducing travel time and safeguarding our environment. Using Best Management Practices, we remove 98% of Total Suspended Solids over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, exceeding the 80 percent removal requirement to ensure protection of this precious resource.
And adjacent to the roadway is a 4.5-mile trail providing cyclists and pedestrians a route for travel and recreation. Featuring illustrative signage, the trail educates users on the region’s history, geography, and inhabitants, placing special emphasis on the exceptional beauty of Hill Country and the Edwards Aquifer’s vital role in providing clean drinking water. From conception through design and construction of the project, the 45SW Toll Road marries mobility and preservation.
Look east and you’ll see the way access and community resilience intertwine. The newly built 183 Toll Road in east Austin was a massive undertaking. Last improved in the 1970s, U.S. 183 between U.S. 290 and SH 71 went more than 50 years without major improvements until the 183 South Project. The Mobility Authority has now transformed this eight-mile stretch of U.S. 183 to a modern highway for tolled and non-tolled travel with facilities for bicycle and pedestrian use. In addition, CapMetro buses have toll-free access, helping more people get to their destination faster.
Whether by car, bus, bike, or by foot, residents are connected to essential community resources. Businesses, open spaces, and community centers are all safely accessible for residents. Yes, it serves as a key regional connection. But equally as important, it serves and strengthens the community around it.
Balancing growth with community character
And then there are opportunities to accommodate future traffic volumes and reduce anticipated traffic congestion like that of the 183A Phase III Project. Cedar Park and Leander are among the fastest growing communities in the country and will continue to lead growth with traffic volumes along U.S. 183 anticipated to increase by 183 percent by 2042. The 183A Phase III Project builds upon the success of the 183A Toll Road, extending it 6.6 miles into Liberty Hill. Designed to save commuters time and increase connectivity, it’s not only aimed to manage growth but to direct it. These communities, steeped in history, then benefit from economic development without the cost of losing that small-town way of life.
There are many unique geographic and cultural nuances that make up our community, and the character of Central Texas runs deep. Despite massive growth and changing landscapes, the Mobility Authority is committed to evolving with our region while preserving the things that make Central Texas great.
Learn more at MobilityAuthority.com.
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