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New Toll Lanes Proposed for Hwy 183

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 10:34 PM CDT
Central Texas transportation groups are looking for ways to ease congestion along one of the major highways.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority held a public meeting to get feedback on the possible plans.

TexDot spokeswomen Kelli Reyna said all possible solutions are still on the table to try and ease traffic on Highway 183.

Reyna said TexDot wants to build tolled express lanes that would run in both directions along the 8-mile stretch of Hwy 183 between MoPac and SH 45.

Up to 200,000 drivers use highway 183 along that stretch daily, and Daniel De La Rosa drives one of those cars.

He said he is a truck driver and spends most of his time in the car battling traffic.

"I work in South Austin, and I live up in North Austin," De La Rosa said. "It's taken me up to two hours to get up here."

To help solve the problem, Reyna said toll lanes would provide a reliable solution.

The toll proposed would be a "variable toll," which means as congestion increases, so would the toll rate just like the one being built on MoPac currently.

Reyna said the goal is to encourage fewer drivers to use the express lane so it does not get backed up.

"You're never going to be able to build your way out of congestion, so all we can try to do is put something in there to help manage the problem," Reyna said.

But, are the new toll lanes on other Central Texas highways working? Half of the 130 Toll Road is going bankrupt, and several drivers said they just do not like them or think they will help the problem.

TxDot said toll lanes are not always the right solution for each highway, but based on the amount of traffic and growth along 183, they feel it is the best option for the eight-mile stretch.

By Cassie GalloNew Toll Lanes Proposed for Hwy 183

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