Photos: SH 45 SW ribbon cutting held ahead of June 1 opening

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty holds scissors up in celebration with Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones at the May 25 ribbon cutting for SH 45 SW.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty holds scissors up in celebration with Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones at the May 25 ribbon cutting for SH 45 SW.

Image description
SH 45 SW
Image description
SH 45 SW
Image description
SH 45 SW
Image description
SH 45 SW
Image description
SH 45 SW
Image description
SH 45 SW
SH 45 SW—a 3.6 mile, $109 million toll road connecting Hays and Travis counties in Southwest Austin—will open to traffic June 1, and local officials and residents celebrated the project's completion with a ribbon cutting May 25.

SH 45 SW was first proposed in 1985, and after years of planning, lawsuits, changes in local leadership and evaluating funding options, it officially broke ground in 2016.

Ray Wilkerson—the chairperson of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which will operate the road—said at the event that transportation and quality of life are connected, and roads such as SH 45 SW help improve the quality of life for many in the area.

"This particular project might be, in all my years of public service, the one I'm most proud of," he said. "We had some opponents to the project, but the courts validated us. This is one of the safest roads we've ever build. I hope this becomes the model for road building in Central Texas."

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, who said he first ran for office in 2002 to advocate for the road's construction, said it took a joint effort by both Hays and Travis counties to get the road built. Both counties "bonded together" to contribute money to the project that would benefit residents of both, he said.

"This relief is long overdue, and residents deserve this vital new connection," Daugherty said. "It will give a reliable way into Austin, [which] we hope it will not be through Brodie Lane [anymore]."

According to CTRMA Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein, the road will give those who work in Austin access to affordable houses in Hays County. Hays County motorists who currently commute through South Austin to get to MoPac Expressway can will be able to use the toll road to circumvent local traffic and save time, while also reducing traffic for South Austin residents on roads like Brodie Lane.

"To say I am thrilled to have the road open is an understatement," said State Rep. Vickie Goodwin, who lives in South Austins and drives on Brodie Lane.

Wilkerson said with the population in the Austin area expected to continue to increase over the next 20 years, local officials should be proactive as opposed to reactive when planning similar projects that will help residents.

"Eventually this road won't stop at [FM] 1626, but will go to [I-35]," Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones said. "We appreciate the people of Brodie Lane, who have dealt with [Hays County commuters] for 34 years but won't miss us [when we're gone]."
SHARE THIS STORY
By Nicholas Cicale

Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.


MOST RECENT

Dripping Springs has received two grants from the Texas Department of Transportation to complete sidewalk improvements projects. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs receives $2.8 million in TxDOT grants for local sidewalk projects

Projects will include work along Rob Shelton Boulevard and that will connect Dripping Springs Middle and High schools.

A photo of the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees
Dripping Springs ISD presents on growth, debt ahead of regular board meeting

Dripping Springs ISD ranks 14th for debt among comparable districts.

Early voting for the March 3 primary elections began Feb. 18. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Southwest Austin 2020 Primary Election Guide

Find out which candidates will be on Southwest Austin ballots.

State Sen. Kirk Watson announced his resignation from state government Feb. 18. A number of local politicians have expressed interest in the seat.
Who is interested in Kirk Watson’s Senate seat? Here is where local members of the state House stand

State Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Eddie Rodriguez say they are "seriously considering" a run for the District 14 seat.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz addresses the media on Feb. 20 after announcing plans to resign.
Outgoing Superintendent Paul Cruz says 'work will continue' in Austin ISD as transition plan is developed

A timeline for Cruz's departure has not yet been established by Austin ISD.

Austin taps downtown homeless shelter operator to expand permanent supportive housing program

Experts hold up permanent supportive housing as crucial to ending chronic homelessness.

Gold's Gym now open on South Congress near Slaughter Lane

Gold's Gym opened its new South Austin location in late January.

Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet now open on Stassney Lane

The Texas restaurant chain offers a lunch and dinner buffet.

54th Street Grill is expected to open a South Austin location in 2021. (Courtesy 54th Street Grill)
54th Street Grill planning South Austin location

54th Street Grill will open a South Austin location in 2021.

A photo of young adults creating artwork.
Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor to open new location in Southwest Austin

The new art school will open on West Hwy. 290 on March 1.

Velocity Credit Union will break ground on a Dripping Springs location this year

Construction will begin on a new Velocity Credit Union branch this summer.

Back to top