The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) meets today to discuss a study on interchange bottlenecks. They will vote to decide to pay $225,000 for the study to find the best ways to remedy these bottleneck problems. These bottlenecks stem from major roads that meet but lack connections. They’re looking at the major corridors in the region that do not already have a plan or current implementation to create future developments.
The big corridors that CAMPO wants to investigate are State Highway 130, State Highway 71, and the MoPac Expressway. CAMPO wants to address the situation where drivers have to search for connections by exiting the highway and crowding public streets. This creates longer commutes and unnecessary congestion.
What Is the CAMPO Study?
The study would take two years to complete. With the data collected by the study, CAMPO could then decide the best plan to attack these key areas. Then construction would arise that would cost even more money. The meeting today is important because it’s not just the almost quarter-million-dollar investment in the study. It’s to also decide if they are comfortable investing millions, or even billions, down the line in future construction plans. They will evaluate budgets and potential federal aid programs that could subsidize future projects.
It’s important to note that Texas’ population is booming. With more drivers on the road, it’s obvious to everyone that roads need to change. The biggest issue arises if Texas has the funds to complete the projects. The Biden administration has their own bipartisan infrastructure law that is currently offering to aid states for this exact reason. The problem is that there is a time limit on this money. If the study takes two years and another to create the plans, they may not meet the window for this federal aid in time.
There are other federal programs that could potentially help the state, but it is more likely that the state will need to fund these projects. The key is to find the money without increasing taxes in any way. The vote, if passed, will surely lead to additional votes to decide how to fund these projects. Either way, CAMPO is ready to address rising traffic problems across the state and is ready to help commuters however they can.