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CTRMA steers through packed agenda

Thursday, March 31, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s board of directors met on Wednesday in what many considered to be a marathon session for the body. The four-hour meeting touched upon a number of issues, including the 183 South Project, the MoPac Improvement Project, new flyovers on State Highway 130 and the selection of a new general engineering consultant. The board unanimously approved an extra $600,000 in order to carry out more marketing efforts ahead of the opening of two new tolled lanes on MoPac. Staff also told the board that it was working feverishly to get the driving public hip to the ways of dynamic tolling before the project partially opens on June 9. The board also unanimously approved a contract to move forward with design work on three flyovers connecting SH 130 with U.S. Highway 290. Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein said that a direct connection between southbound SH 130 and westbound U.S. 290 is the agency’s priority. He noted that construction of that ramp alone could cost $38 million. The board also unanimously voted to begin negotiations to contract WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering Services as the authority’s new general engineering consultant. Once made official, the firm will work closely with CTRMA on all of its projects and provide a litany of services, including project management, procurement services, information technology services, maintenance oversight and public involvement activities. The Quebec-based WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff previously made a name for itself in Texas by serving as the general engineering consultant on Harris County’s $2.8 billion Katy Freeway project.

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