The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s transportation policy board unanimously approved $7 million in funding for 10 regional corridor improvement projects during its Sept. 13 meeting. The funds will allow CAMPO to hire a general engineering consultant to conduct studies on the corridors.

All 10 of the projects are on roads managed by the Texas Department of Transportation. CAMPO Deputy Executive Director Chad McKeown said the funds will allow for TxDOT to move forward with multiple projects. He added that the program would also “advance multimodal study recommendations throughout the region to the development stage.”

The regional corridors span much of Central Texas, including 22.5 miles along Parmer Lane, 18.6 miles along Hwy. 79 and 6.8 miles along Hwy. 29. McKeown said that the corridors will fit with existing Central Texas projects.

“These are complementary to current construction and development projects and, as I mentioned, kind of teeing up that next round of projects for the region,” McKeown said.

CAMPO previously identified the corridors as regionally significant, factoring in their growth, existing crash rates and consideration for future multimodal projects.

TxDOT will provide funding through the SH 130 Concession Company, the organization that manages the tolls on the 41-mile southern stretch of SH 130. According to CAMPO documents, future funding for the projects could be supplemented by state and local agencies.

Restructuring the MoPac express lanes loan

CAMPO continues to work on restructuring its loan agreement with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority to fund the MoPac express lanes.

The $130 million loan was set to run 22 years beginning in 2012, but the CTRMA asked CAMPO if it could pay the loan now at a discounted rate.

CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson said he has been working with the CTRMA toward finding an agreement.

“The committee instructions to me were to work with James Bass, [Mobility Authority] executive director, to see if we can come to an agreement on the discount rate,” Johnson said. “James and I are still having conversations on that every week, and I just got some information from our financial analyst earlier today that I'm going to share with James this week.”