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SH 45 Southwest Environmental Study Available for Review
Contact: Kelli Reyna
Phone: (512) 832-7060
Date: July 3, 2014

Alternatives evaluated for improving connectivity, mobility between south MoPac and FM 1626

AUSTIN — In the past 20 years, population growth in northern Hays and southern Travis Counties has increased by more than 200 percent. This rapid growth and resulting traffic issues led the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to identify the need for SH 45SW in the area’s long range transportation plan. Consequently, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority are studying possible solutions for addressing the increased traffic congestion and delays on the local roadway network from Loop 1 (MoPac) to FM 1626, a distance of approximately four miles.  

The preliminary results of the SH 45SW environmental study are now available for public review in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS is a comprehensive document that evaluates and discloses the environmental, social, and economic impacts potentially resulting from the proposed construction and operation of a project.

"The project team recognized the sensitivity of this project from day one and has worked with our partners, including the city of Austin, to protect the water quality of the Edwards Aquifer, Barton Springs, and karst features in the area, including Flint Ridge Cave," said Carlos Swonke, TxDOT director of environmental affairs. "We are confident that we would have a safe and environmentally responsible project."

Several highlights of the SH 45SW draft EIS include:

  • Development of best management practices regarding water quality and endangered species
  • Traffic analysis and report
  • Potential environmental impacts to natural resources, local communities, and cultural resources
  • Effects from future development

"TxDOT and the Mobility Authority follow the standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for protecting the Edwards Aquifer and by applying the best management practices mentioned in the draft EIS, the proposed roadway would actually exceed those standards," Swonke said.

To review the draft EIS or for more information about the SH 45SW environmental study, visit:  www.sh45sw.com.

To get involved, join TxDOT and the Mobility Authority at a public hearing on Tuesday, July 29 at Bowie High School, located at 4103 Slaughter Lane in Austin. The hearing will begin with an open house at 5 p.m. followed by a formal presentation at 6 p.m. A public comment session will be held after the presentation.

For media inquiries, contact Kelli Reyna at kelli.reyna@txdot.gov or (512) 832-7060.

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.