183A Northern Extension opens

A Capital Metro Bus broke the Grand Opening banner across a stretch of the new roadway sending confetti flying. (Photo by Kate Ludlow)

The $105 million northern extension to 183A opened last week amidst a host of dignitaries and project officials.

U.S. Rep. John Carter provided the keynote address during a Grand Opening ceremony April 6.

“People need greater mobility, and we’re working hard to make sure they get it,” Carter said. “By reducing federal red tape and empowering local communities to take part in how their federal transportation funds are allocated, we’re letting local communities take charge of their own destinies.”

The five-mile 183A Extension was built more than seven years ahead of schedule after traffic exceeded original projections, officials said. The project is a tolled, limited access expressway with three lanes in each direction. It was constructed in the median of the existing frontage roads from FM 1431 in Cedar Park to north of RM 2243 in Leander. The frontage roads will remain non-tolled.

“The 183A extension will do an incredible job of getting people in and out of Cedar Park and Leander in coming decades, said Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, who represents the Liberty Hill area. “But it won’t be of much value if you get stuck in traffic just trying to get to 183A. That’s why I’ve worked with Cedar Park and Leander to secure funding to improve the existing roads that intersect 183A. These new and improved roads together with 183A will help make Williamson County an deven greater place to live, work and prosper.”

“The 183A Northern Extension project is a great example of how our region’s investment in toll roads is paying big dividends, both in terms of mobility and investment in our community,” said Ray Wilkerson, Mobility Authority Chairman. “This project has been a major catalyst for development in the area. Given the difficult economic times we’ve just been through, the prospect of growth along 183A is exciting.”

As part of the opening of the extension, toll rates are being adjusted along the entire 183A corridor. TxTag customers will pay $2.80 to dirve the entire length of 183A from Lakeline Boulevard to north of RM 2243. The toll rate for TxTag customers using the original portion of 183A, from RM 620 to New Hope Road will decrease from $2 to $1.85.

Specifically, TxTag rates at the Park Street Main Plaza will decrease from $1.55 to $1.35. Rates at the Lakeline Mainline Plaza will increase from $0.45 to $0.50 and rates at the Brushy Creek Ramps will increase from $0.45 to $0.54. In addition, multi-axle toll rates are being reinstituted at the Brushy Creek Ramps and a special program for four-axle vehicles is being eliminated.

183A Toll Rates

Crystal Falls Parkway Ramps (new) $0.36

Crystal Falls mainline Plaza (new) $0.95

Scottsdale Drive Ramp (new) $0.54

Park Street Mainline Plaza $1.35

Brushy Creek Ramps $0.54

Lakeline Mainline Plaza $0.50

TxTag Pay by Mail

Crystal Falls Parkway Ramps (new) $0.48

Crystal Falls Mainline Plaa (new) $1.27

Scottsdale Drive Ramp (new) $0.72

Park Street mainline Plaza $1.80

Brushy Creek Ramps $0.72

Lakeline Mainline Plaza $0.67

One of the highlights of the Grand Opening event last week was the breaking of a ceremonial banner featuring a Capital Metro Express Bus. Capital Metro Express Buses will use the 183A extension at no cost and will be able to move commuters in and out of the area quicker than before.

Leander Mayor John Cowman also attended the event. No city officials from Liberty Hill were present.

For more information about the 183A extension, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com