The Watershed Protection and Austin Transportation Departments have reviewed recent transportation studies, environmental studies and environmental regulations pertaining to the proposed SH45 Southwest tollway. The results of that review are contained in the Response to Council Resolution 20140515-063 on State Highway 45 Southwest.
Staff will provide a briefing to the Austin Council at the September 30, 2014, Council work session. The work session begins at 9 a.m. in the Boards and Commissions Room in City Hall, 301 W. Second St.
Because the City of Austin has a number of environmental and traffic concerns regarding the proposed tollway, the Austin City Council requested this report in Resolution No. 20140515-063. The report includes the following topics:
- Alternative transportation investments that would improve commuting between northern Hays and far southern Travis counties and Central Austin while reducing total costs, environmental harm, and impacts to MoPac commuting; including but not limited to improvements to Brodie Lane;
- Recent traffic studies on the proposed SH45 SW by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority;
- The appropriateness of adding traffic to South MoPac by construction of SH45 SW in advance of developing and implementing a plan to address the “bottleneck” at the MoPac bridge over Lady Bird Lake;
- Existing environmental surveys of City lands along the SH45 SW right of way, including but not limited to surveys of karst features and subsurface flow;
- Significant differences between the state environmental review process and the National Environmental Policy Act; and
- State environmental protection measures on existing roadways and construction sites within the Barton Springs Watershed.