Austin, Texas (PRWEB) March 12, 2010
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is celebrating the start of construction on its second roadway project, the Manor Expressway (US 290 East) in east Travis County. The Manor Expressway is a 6.2-mile project that is being constructed in the median of U.S. 290 between U.S. 183 and Parmer Lane east of Austin. A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 10, 2010 to officially celebrate the start of construction.
“This groundbreaking marks a huge victory for Central Texas,” says Mobility Authority Board Chairman, Ray Wilkerson. “People who drive the US 290 corridor have endured steadily increasing traffic congestion and a steady stream of serious accidents. The Manor Expressway will give drivers the option for a faster, safer and more reliable route. Moreover, the Manor Expressway will link to other important roadways, helping to establish the regional transportation network our community so desperately needs,” adds Wilkerson.
The initial construction phase involves completion of a direct connect flyover interchange at US 183 and US 290 and a 1.4-mile stretch of the expressway between US 183 and Chimney Hill Boulevard. The work is expected to cost approximately $193 million. The existing two lane frontage roads will be improved and remain non-tolled. The project is being funded through a mix of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds, a State Infrastructure Bank loan and the issuance of bond debt backed by toll revenue.
“This project was made possible through a tremendous amount of coordination and teamwork, and we are thankful to our partners at the Texas Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration for helping make the Manor Expressway a reality,” says Wilkerson.
“At a time when our country is enduring economic hardship, projects like this are critical to creating economic opportunity and putting people back to work. The Manor Expressway project is expected to create 2,200 jobs over the life of the project.”
The Manor Expressway will be an all-electronic toll road, meaning drivers won’t have to stop – or even slow down - to pay their tolls. Instead of traditional cash booths, drivers will pay their tolls using a TxTag account or through a video based tolling program known as Pay By Mail. Drivers who choose to use the initial 1.4-mile section of the Manor Expressway will be charged a 50-cent toll. Drivers using the direct-connect flyovers between the Manor Expressway and US 183 will pay an additional 50 cents. Drivers who prefer not to pay a toll will still be able to use the non-tolled frontage roads. Buses operated by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Capital Area Rural Transportation System will be able to use the Manor Expressway at no cost, giving commuters a third choice in addition to tolled lanes and non-tolled access roads.
The Manor Expressway is being designed with a “Central Texas Heritage” theme, which celebrates the history of the region through the use of stone, brick and rich, natural colors and will match the look and feel of the existing corridor. Beginning in 2006, the Mobility Authority held meetings with numerous community groups and business organizations as part of a Context Sensitive Design process, working with local residents to determine what the proposed roadway should look like.
At full build, the Manor Expressway will be a 6.2-mile tolled expressway between US 183 and Parmer Lane just west of the City of Manor. It will be constructed in an expanded median of the existing US 290 East and will include three tolled lanes and three non-tolled lanes in each direction, as well as a bike and pedestrian trail. The Manor Expressway will intersect with the SH 130 toll road providing an alternative high-speed route between Williamson County and Central Austin. Construction could be underway on future phases of the project as early as 2011, and the full project could be open to traffic by 2015.
To learn more about the Manor Expressway, and to view an interactive demonstration showing how it will be constructed, visit the newly-launched project website, http://www.ManorExpressway.com.
About the Mobility Authority
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created to improve the regional transportation system. Our mission is to implement innovative solutions that reduce congestion and create transportation choices that enhance quality of life and economic vitality. The Mobility Authority is the state’s first Regional Mobility Authority, created in January 2003 to serve Travis and Williamson counties. The Mobility Authority currently operates the 183A toll road in Williamson County and is currently working to extend the 183A project and construct the US 290 East (Manor Expressway) project.
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