Bexar County taking closer control of Alamo RMA
By Peter Samuel
Bexar County which covers most of the San Antonio metro area (pop 1.74m) is to take over operations of the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (Alamo RMA). County commissioners voted last week to manage the operations of the RMA. A monthly meeting of the board of Alamo RMA was cancelled.
The county appoints all members of the Alamo RMA so it more or else does what elected county officials want anyway.
RMAs are local toll authorities set up under Texas law with the power to issue toll revenue bonds. Alamo RMA established in 2003 has been thwarted so far in moves to develop a single tollroad. It has been involved instead in planning work (public outreach, alternatives analyses) and use of Obama stimulus funds for relatively small projects on the US281 corridor to the north of the city and Loop 1604, belt routes on the north and the west of the metro area, and an interchange between the two.
The RMA has also engaged in planning work for toll lanes on freeways, and on upgrades to I-35 northeast of San Antonio.
Under the proposed reorganization County public works staff would take over most of the Alamo RMA planning and outreach work. It would probably be kept as a shell organization to be brought to life in the event a toll project moves.