Mike Heiligenstein, the incumbent Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, visited San Antonio for the Texas Department of Transportation conference. The purpose of the forum was to highlight the current situation that faced the development of infrastructure.
Mike was put on the spot to answer questions pertaining to the future of the various toll roads in Texas and their general state. Mike expressed that the reason why the drivers in Texas were not using the state highway 130 was due to the inability to increase the lanes. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeheiligenstein
The areas that surround the highway are not receptive to the expansion of the footprint, and this was not a problem that could be solved by moving the vehicles to the state highway 130. Mike reiterated the importance of increasing the capacity, adopting new travel behaviors and incorporating a multi-modal system.
In regards to the financial decline that toll roads have experienced due to rising gas prices and an uncertain economy, Mike Heiligenstein stated that toll roads are not the only solution, it was time to make use of all the tools so as to attract the investors. Austin has the potential to do this even without the utilization of toll roads. The growth of the area is anticipated to be long term and consistent which is exactly what investors are looking at.
Mike also expressed that county roads lack the structural capacity to help alleviate the road congestion issues in the Eagle Ford Shale. This problem can be fixed by introducing a financing model that increases the tax in production in certain areas. The Texas Department Of Commerce is working to assist the areas that don’t have adequate tax bases.
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein has been at the top of the CTRMA since it was established in 2002. In the course of his leadership and guidance, he has been able to oversee the finalization of significant projects including the 183A in Williamson County and The Manor Expressway. Mike served the Williamson County public office for over two decades before moving to the CTRMA.
The Central Regional Mobile Authority is an independent government organization that aims to establish and implement viable transport solutions that impacts the economic status of the county and ultimately, the lives of the people. Mike Heiligenstein actively serves on various advisory boards that deal with issues pertaining to transport.