The Central Texas region's transportation planning organization approved including a list of public transit and road projects, including in Project Connect and on I-35, in the draft 2040 long-range plan.
Several Project Connect projects—such as expanding MetroRapid bus service to Williamson County and adding a placeholder of $498 million for high-capacity transit in the downtown Austin core—were approved Dec. 8 by the policy board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Texas Department of Transportation's Mobility 35 projects, designed to improved mobility on I-35 from SH 130 in Georgetown to Posey Road in San Marcos, were also approved to the draft list. Other road projects receiving state and federal funding that were approved include:
- widening RM 620 to six lanes from Pecan Park Boulevard to Hwy. 71
- widening McNeil Drive to six lanes from US 183 to Howard Lane
- widening Hwy. 290 to six lanes from FM 1826 to the Hays County line
- constructing a six-lane overpass at Ronald Reagan Boulevard and I-35
For a full list of approved projects download the Dec. 8 agenda packet here: https://www.campotexas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/December-08-2014-Agenda-Packet.pdf.
CAMPO's policy board has already approved adding projects with 100 percent local funding and those that will be completed by 2020 to the draft plan, CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson said. Other projects in the draft plan include bicycle and pedestrian facilities as well as safety and operation work and bridge replacement.
"That 2040 plan is a blue print for our future transportation system," said Cathy Stephens, CAMPO's environmental and planning program manager. "It can be amended. It is not a frozen document."
Illustrative projects, those that jurisdictions would like to include but have no committed funding, were not approved to the draft list. The proposed RM 620 toll road is still on the illustrative list.
For projects to be considered for the plan, jurisdictions in CAMPO's six-county region—Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties—submit projects. CAMPO's technical advisory committee comprising transportation planners and staff from those jurisdictions review the submissions and create a recommended list of projects for the policy board to approve.
The policy board, comprising elected officials from the counties and cities, will approve the 2040 plan by May. CAMPO is required by law to create a new long-term plan every five years, and the process takes about two years to complete.
CAMPO will hold public meetings in 2015 to receive feedback on projects in the draft 2040 plan. For more information, visit www.campotexas.com.