The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is holding a community meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Elm Grove Elementary School Cafeteria, 801 FM 1626 in Buda. The topic is the future of the proposed SH 45 SW project into Hays County.
In June, the Austin City Council deleted the proposed 3.5-mile SH 45 Southwest Regional Connector roadway project, between Loop 1 (MoPac) in Travis County and FM 1626 in Hays County, from its Comprehensive Plan. The council also directed city staff to request deletion of the proposed roadway from the CAMPO 2035 Regional Transportation Plan. CAMPO is seeking input from residents about the changes to the plan.
Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones is trying to rally residents behind the project.
Last year, the Hays County Commissioners Court passed a resolution offering to spend up to $5 million to help fund a smaller version of the roadway in conjunction with Travis County. The offer is waiting on additional studies requested by Travis County officials.
Jones said it is very important for residents to do everything they can to keep SH 45 in the CAMPO plan, and the best way to do that is to have a large turnout in support of it.
“SH 45, which has been planned since the 1980s, is necessary to help traffic flow between Hays and Travis Counties and to relieve congestion on local roads through neighborhoods that were not designed to carry such large amounts of traffic,” Jones said at a commissioners court meeting in June. “The population has grown dramatically since SH 45 was first deemed necessary.”
Jones believes opponents of the project think the result of the Travis County Pct. 3 Commissioner election will turn out in favor of building SH 45 SW, and this is their chance to kill the road before that election.
“From conversations I have had with Travis County Commissioners, I feel strongly that if Gerald Daugherty wins (in Austin), we can build SW 45 as a two- to three-lane county road,” Jones said. “We are as close as we have ever been to getting this done.”
Opponents claim the road will encourage development on or near environmentally sensitive land.
CAMPO is accepting public comments at the Buda meeting and online at www.CAMPOTexas.org. Comments can also be dropped off at CAMPO offices at 505 Barton Springs Rd in Austin. The public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., Sept. 27.