In an Austin Business Journal sponsored article, the first of two, CTRMA executive director Mike Heiligenstein writes that despite COVID-19 financial disruptions, his agency “remains committed to building for the future,” and he cites the progress of the 183 South Project in East Austin as evidence of that commitment. He notes that major development activity — including construction of a Tesla “gigafactory” — is coming to the area, “adding to the demand for this long-awaited mobility solution.”
In the second article, Heiligenstein writes that in the year since it first opened, CTRMA’s 45SW Toll has “improved mobility, increased safety, and enhanced quality of life for the entire community — including non-tolled drivers.” He takes particular note of the highway’s intelligent wrong-way driving detection technology and environmental sustainability.
Transport Topics reports that a US Senate committee voted yesterday to send President Trump’s nomination of Eric Soskin to be USDOT inspector general to the floor. The committee’s 12 Democrats opposed the nomination, which is entangled in a controversy over the demotion of Acting Inspector General Mitch Behm, a career civil servant. Key congressional Democrats claim, “Behm’s removal is the latest in a series of politically motivated firings of Inspectors General,” and part of a presidential “assault on the integrity and independence of Inspectors General.”
ITSInternational.com reports on the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise’s receipt of the 2020 IBTTA President’s Award for Excellence for its co-creation (with Florida DOT) of the SunTrax research facility. The 475-acre Polk County center is dedicated to the development and testing of “tolling and other emerging transportation technologies in controlled environments,” according to the article.
Pensacola News Journal and WEAR report Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, early this morning. The Garcon Point Bridge reportedly closed last night after tolling was suspended earlier in the day. The Bob Sikes Bridge in Escambia County, Florida, remained open at last report.
WALA reports that the Beach Express Bridge near Orange Beach, Florida, is closed due to high winds.
WPMI-TV, WKRG and AlabamaWX.com are additional sources of local information about the storm and its impacts along the Gulf coast.
The New York Times is providing live updates on the progress of the hurricane.
KIAH-TV interviews Uproad operations director Andrew Peppard, who gives the Houston station’s viewers an introduction to the toll payment app that is now available for motorists who travel the Hardy Toll Road, the Westpark Tollway, the Northwest Freeway. Uproad, a Kapsch Group innovation, runs on mobile devices and allows users to pay tolls “as they go.”