Mike Heiligenstein-the current Executive Director of CTRMA was in San Antonio on Jan 10, 2014.He visited the Texas Department of Transportation forum with the aim of covering the infrastructural needs of the state.Heiligenstein talked about the future of the toll roads particularly in Texas not forgetting the State Highway 130.
Mike also asked why the taxi drivers in Texas rarely use the State Highway 130 which has been downgraded by Moody’s just because the traffic numbers are very slow. The SH 130 has an interesting study case. The Interstate 35 is very demanding in terms of 20 years to come because the demand is increasing rapidly.
Places such as Colorado River in Austin have no way to many lanes in the already existing footprint. The neighboring cities are reluctant in allowing a bigger footprint be it horizontally or vertically. The traffic from San Antonio to Austin is 85 percent local/regional. Mike said that the solution to traffic is not just moving through trucks and small vehicles to the State Highway 130 but coming up with several ways to add capacity and change the travel routine.
Several toll roads experienced poor performance in terms of finance in the past years because of the hiking gas prices and the weak economy. Apparently, the toll roads are not the only solution. Tools that can be used are all that are required. Currently, in Austin, public dollars have been leveraged into a program that costs more than $ 1 billion to construct it.
Mike Heiligenstein is the Director of the CTRMA-a transport agency that is multi-modal. Mike has worked for CTRMA since the years 2003.During this period, he has developed the agencies first toll road-183A.Cutting edge technologies were implemented to maximize the efficiency of the toll road.
Mike advocates for cyclists and pedestrians facilities and has worked tirelessly to make the facilities available. Currently, CTRMA wants to initiate a $1 billion program that is intended to expand the 183A toll road and complete the construction of the 6.2-mle Manor Expressway that is east of Austin.
When Mike was first a member of the Round Rock City Council and later the County Commissioner of Williamson, he mainly focused on infrastructure projects. Heiligenstein contributed in founding the Envision Central Texas project. Mr. Mike is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in Government, a Masters of Government in the same institution and a Masters of Business Administration. Mike is famous in Texas for his commitment to regional approaches to solving problems.
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