Texas Turnpike breaks ground on TX-130 Austin
By Peter Samuel
TX-130 the state's longest tollroad had a formal groundbreaking Oct 3. With heavy earthmoving equipment as the backdrop Texas Governor Rick Perry led a bunch of other bigwigs in the ritual first shovel throws. The 79km (49mi) first stage of TX-130 is due to open Dec 2007. At the ceremony the turnpike division's project manager for the project Robert Daigh said: Were moving full speed ahead to complete SH 130 in the next four years. With this project, were sending a message This is a new way of doing business that will bring other major highway projects online faster and sooner.
The tollroad starts at I-35 in Georgetown in the northern part of the Greater Austin area of Central Texas, proceeds down the eastern fringe by the regional airport and then temporarily terminates at TX-183 near Mustang Ridge in the southeastern corner of the developed area around the Texas capital. A 8km (5mi) connector back to I-35 is being pursued as another toll project, and it is intended to extend TX-130 parallel to I-35 all the way down to Seguin on I-10 a bit northeast of San Antonio.
The project involves four mainline toll plazas and 29 ramp plazas. Tolls will be about 12.5c/mile (8c/km) for cars and 48c/mi (30c/km) for tractor trailers.
The contractor is Lone Star Infrastructure which is simultaneously designing and building the project.
TX-130 is part of a tollroad network called the Central Texas Turnpike System and will be linked to two shorter tollroads being developed simultaneously - TX-45 of 20km (13mi), and Loop-1 Extension of 5km (3mi) which are more completely urban and local in nature.
Of 2x2-lanes but designed for much widening TX-130 is costing some $1.5b. see www.texastollways.com TRnews 2003-10-7