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CAMPO approves TxDOT’s transportation plan amendment requests

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 by Seth Smalley

On Monday, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Board voted to approve two of the Texas Department of Transportation’s requests to amend the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Program. The RTP addresses general congestion and transportation needs over the next 25 years, while the TIP addresses shorter-range plans – within the next four years – that are consistent with the scope and goals of the RTP.

CAMPO planning manager Ryan Collins presented the amendment updates to board members.

According to CAMPO’s website, “The (RTP) includes roads, transit, active transportation options such as walking and biking, and also examines new technologies, travel strategies, and choices that maximize the use of current transportation infrastructure.”

In the amendment requests, TxDOT requested a funding shift be added to the RTP as it relates to the plan to construct a portion of the northern section of Interstate 35 that runs through Austin.

“The northern portion has come in a little bit lower on estimates, and a piece of the northern portion has come up a little over the estimates, and so they are requesting to shift some funds,” Collins told board members. The funding shift, which constitutes about $10 million, would be directly decided on by the policy board, Collins said, adding, “As far as estimates go, it’s actually a very fortunate position to be in.”

In spring 2019, the policy board approved a resolution to give TxDOT approximately $75 million to fund lane expansions of I-35 and U.S. Highway 183 in the Austin area. In the same meeting, the Austin American-Statesman reported, CAMPO voted to contribute $400 million toward TxDOT’s $8 billion I-35 expansion plan.

“Both the Transportation Improvement Program and Regional Transportation Plan are living documents that we amend on a regular basis, so the most up-to-date information is approved by the policy board,” Collins said. “So they’ve been shifting those funds as assessments have been refined.”

TxDOT also asked CAMPO’s approval for matching Texas Transportation Commission funds for FM 3349, from County Road 404 to County Road 395, in Williamson County.

“They did receive $67 million in state and federal funding and then a local sponsor contributed $17 million in local funding for the project,” Collins said, going on to mention CAMPO’s recommendation for the approval of TxDOT’s requests.

Both of TxDOT’s requests – the I-35 funding shift and the Williamson County road funding – were unanimously approved by the CAMPO policy board members present.

Photo by Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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