Tolling 290: Neighbors Disagree on Highway
Newsroom KLBJ News Radio
People who use U.S. 290 east of U.S. 183 and west of the SH-130 toll road got to see an elaborate set of plans to upgrade the highway and add a toll road to it.
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This takes care of the worst of the bottlenecks. The toll facility ends up paying for the non-toll facility. All folks win in this deal," says Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which already oversees the 183-A toll road in Cedar Park.
He says the status of the highway makes little difference in the long run to east-side commuters. "Whether or not it's a toll road or it's not a toll road is inconsequential. Over the next twenty years, you're going to see development more than double."
But Dewy Brooks, the president of a homeowners' association in a subdivision right along U.S. 290, doesn't see it that way. "To take an existing road that's already there and turn it into a toll road and say it's an improvement, I have some issues with that," he says.
Heiligenstein says his agency has worked around Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison's amendment banning current free roads from being turned into toll roads by keeping the frontage roads free of charge. In the past, the Texas Department of Transportation, a separate entity from the CTRMA, handling the 290 project, has taken a lot of heat from the public about plans to turn parts of Central Texas' highway system into toll roads.
Read the rest of the story HERE.
Read about Scumbag Mike Heiligenstein HERE.