Hays County Commissioners Court Signs Inter-local Agreement to Help Fund State Highway 45 Southwest
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Making good on its June 2012 offer to fund up to $5 million of the cost of State Highway 45 Southwest now that the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) and Travis County have committed to fund the road, the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday signed an inter-local agreement outlining the financial terms for its share of the cost.
“This road has been in the planning stages since 1985,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones. “Since then, dramatic residential and commercial development has occurred throughout Southwestern Travis County and Northern Hays County, clogging traffic in neighborhoods along Brodie Lane and on Slaughter Lane in Travis County. Vehicular pollution on roads not designed to carry such large volumes of traffic or with environmental safeguards is contributing to contamination of the Edwards Aquifer.”
Jones noted that while the road was originally planned to be a two-lane County road, the desire to build it to rigorous environmental standards and to serve the increasing number of vehicles traveling through the area made a four-lane, divided toll road the best option. “Because of the cost of a four-lane road, the only way to build it is by making it a toll road,” he said. State Highway 45 SW will connect FM 1626 at Bliss Spillar Road to the existing SH 45 extension south of Loop 1.
Under the agreement, Hays County will provide a $500,000 payment in June of this year to help fund pre-construction and design costs, with the remainder due when contracts for construction are let. Travis County has already committed $15 million to the project, with the rest of the cost to be borne by CTRMA which will recoup its costs from tolls. The Hays County portion will be paid from savings the County realized from road bonds.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication shown by the Travis County Commissioners Court, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), TxDOT and CTRMA in helping to get this project underway,” Jones said. “Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty and CAMPO Chair Will Conley, who also serves as Hays County’s Precinct 3 Commissioner, were extremely valuable in putting us together with knowledgeable ‘green builders’ who showed us what can be done to improve mobility and safety while protecting the environment.”