45 SW toll road ahead of schedule, could open late spring 2019

Drone video shows the 45 SW project ready for final paving as officials say the project is ahead of schedule. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The 45 SW project is ahead of schedule, but external forces could still affect its opening date.

New drone video released shows major progress on 45 SW. This will be a new toll road connecting FM 1626 and south MoPac.

The opening was set to be in the summer of 2019, but now the Regional Mobility Authority said they could open before that. “It’s really ahead of schedule,” deputy executive director Jeff Dailey said.

Dailey said that’s despite all the recent rains. He said working in an area where they don’t have to deal with traffic helps speed things up.

He said they have most construction completed, they just need to put up tolling equipment, communication and power lines, ponds and they need to lay paving. “That’s something that will happen sometime in the spring when the weather warms up,” Dailey said.

He said when they finish up that paving and the project depends on how much rain they get in the spring.

Another factor goes into when they can open, and that’s the MoPac Intersections project. TxDOT is working to have MoPac flow under the intersections at Slaughter Lane and Lacrosse. Dailey said they may not open 45 SW if those projects aren’t finished because then their highway traffic would stop at the traffic lights just north of the project. “If it was going to cause a significant backup by us opening, we wouldn’t do it,” Dailey said.

However, Dailey said they’re working with TxDOT and he believes the projects will finish around the same time. “Right now it seems like things are lining up,” Dailey said. “Our fingers crossed right now.”

The project could bring relief to many homeowners along Brodie Lane and other neighborhood roads that see commuters from Hays County trying to go north or south.

Dailey also said it will be a big help for drivers. “Once we open this up, you’re going to see, depending on the time of day, six to 15 minutes of travel time savings,” Dailey said. “So it’s going to be a big benefit.”

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