As the population of South Austin and the surrounding area has boomed, so has traffic on Brodie Lane.
While plans to build a highway to connect FM 1626 to MoPac have been in place for decades, residents say if the road was already built, the area wouldn’t be in the jam it’s in now.
“The road infrastructure could have been there to help support that, and it’s not, so better late than never,” neighbor Laureen Chernow said.
Chernow lives in Shady Hollow, a subdivision off Brodie Lane. She thought SH 45 Southwest was going to be there as the area grew.
“In 1990, I moved to Shady Hollow and have been waiting for this road thinking that for once government was going to get ahead of the curve,” Chernow said.
Right now, Hays County is working to widen FM 1626. That project ends near where the SH 45 project would begin.
Opponents to the highway say it’s unwise to build a road through the environmentally sensitive Edwards Aquifer Recharge zone.
“Central Texans must find a way to live in and move through our environment without destroying it,” Sarah Eckhardt, a Democratic candidate for Travis County Judge, said.
Supporters say the fact the road hasn’t been built is already creating pollution.
“The traffic is sitting there on Brodie in rush hour just polluting the area with no controls,” neighbor Allen Barr said.
On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners voted to support building the road, something they had decided not to do in 2010.
“I don’t think there’s any question in anybody’s mind, even if you’re not supportive of this road, as for the need of a roadway like this to be in the plan for it to be built and to move forward,” Commissioner Gerald Daugherty said.
The resolution approved by commissioners doesn’t give a timeline or address the costs of the project.
Environmental impact studies won’t be completed until 2015, meaning actual construction is likely years down the road.
The less than 4 miles of highway could cost 100 million dollars to build. Right now plans call for building four tolled lanes with limited access.