Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty has posted agenda Item 23 for tomorrow's (Tuesday) meeting of the County Commissioners Court that would require Travis County to pay the toll road authority, CTRMA, $15 million to build the SH 45 SW aquifer toll road no later than October 15, 2014.
The item is posted even though the environmental studies will not be completed until the end of this year or next year and construction cannot begin until late 2015 at the earliest. The proposed agreement says Hays County would only pay its $5 million share AFTER construction begins. The source for the other $80 million or so has yet to be identified, although some of it will be from bonds backed by projected toll collections.
The move is clearly a desperate attempt to force the County's support before Sarah Eckhardt is seated as Travis County judge and Brigid Shea takes her seat as County Commissioner next November. Both Eckhardt and Shea ran on platforms opposed to SH 45 SW.
The fast move by Daugherty also seeks to avoid public scrutiny during the spring break week. There is simply no "emergency" that requires the action now.
Please go to KeepMopacLocal.org and tell the Commissioners and our City Council to just say "no thank you" to the aquifer toll road and the pollution and Mopac traffic jam that it would cause.
A few other key points:
1. The proposed agreement says nothing about where the funds would come from or what other priorities may be sacrificed to fund the project at this level and at this time.
2. The most recent CAMPO study of SH 45 SW shows that building the project will divert traffic from Interstate 35 over to Mopac, which is already maxed out. There will be zero benefit, and actual harm, to most Mopac commuters. Only a relative few of Hays County commuters will see a slight benefit (an estimated time saving of 2 to 3 minutes on their peak hour morning commute).
Notably, Daugherty hid the CAMPO study until December, well after the October county vote to move forward with the project.
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