Thanks in part to an influx in state funding from propositions 1 and 7, Central Texas jurisdictions will see over $400 million in funding for area transportation projects in the next four years.
Projects approved as part of the 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program—a plan detailing projects that will begin construction work in 2019-22—include expanding RM 620 in Bee Cave and Lakeway; expanding Parmer Lane in Cedar Park; building a new roadway near I-35 and Yarrington Road in Hays County; reconstructing University Boulevard in Round Rock; and expanding Slaughter Lane in Southwest Austin.
The transportation policy board for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved the funding, which comes from state and federal sources, Monday night. CAMPO is the regional planning agency for Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. The board comprises elected officials from jurisdictions in that region.
CAMPO staff received 140 project applications, amounting to $1.5 billion in funding needs. Jurisdictions receiving funding will still have to put up a local match for their projects in the program. The 2019-22 TIP details more than $3 billion worth of transportation work in Central Texas, including projects rolled over from the 2017-20 plan and work not being funded through CAMPO.
Read more here about the Texas Department of Transportation addressing why a project on RM 620 between the Mansfield Dam and US 183 was not included in the 2019-22 plan.
Use of transportation credits
The board also approved awarding nearly $13 million in transportation developments credits, which are a federal flexible funding tool. Credits are created as a region spends funds from toll revenues on other transportation projects, according to CAMPO.
Last summer, the agency updated its policy on using the credits for regionally significant projects as well as those in disadvantaged communities that have a higher percentage of minorities.
Projects approved in this round of credit requests are all included in the 2019-22 TIP, and credits will serve as the jurisdiction’s local funding match for federally funded projects included in the TIP. However, the jurisdiction must then spend funds initially intended for the project on another similar project, according to CAMPO.
Projects receiving TDCs for the local match include New Hope Drive and Brushy Creek in Cedar Park, Williams Drive in Georgetown, Pearce Lane in Travis County, RM 2243 in Williamson County and a new bus plaza in East Austin for the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, or CARTS.