Mike Heiligenstein is a well-regarded and known name in the transportation sector of Central Texas due to his role as executive director at the CTRMA. He recently attended an interview where he gave some insight into the latest happenings of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and plans for the future. If there is one thing to be taken from his responses it is that his job is only going to get harder over the coming years as demand for infrastructure continues to increase while resources become scarcer.
One of the areas that San Antonio and Austin residents are most concerned about includes the state highway 130 and Interstate 35 situation which seems to be a mess that has no real solution according to Heiligenstein. Since 2003 he has worked with the then new organization known as the CTRMA in order to help design and implement a transportation network that can meet the needs of Central Texas’ citizen traffic. I-35 looks like it will not be able to handle what amounts to mostly local traffic over the upcoming years, and so there will have to be solutions implemented in order to reroute and handle vehicles, but that is much harder to do in actuality.
Mr. Heiligenstein also remarked that the issue about whether or not toll roads should be implemented is no longer up for debate. He says that while they are not the only solution, they will definitely need to be an option in the toolbox of the CTRMA even with other nearby toll roads experiencing poor financial performance due to various factors such as a weak economy. Since he has assumed a leadership role at the mobility authority there he has had a hand at transforming a stagnant program into one that will have $4 billion in assets by 2020 as well as $136.5 million in revenue by that same year. This will help ease the tax burden on the citizens that he represents as they progress together into the future.
In the interview with the Business Journal of San Antonio he has also revealed a myriad of other strategies that he feels may help the congestion situation that will continue to press upon citizens as the population continues to burgeon. Thankfully, the area is in good hands thanks to this knowledgeable man out of the University of Texas, and they should begin to see evidence of more solutions as the improvements continue.
Follow Mike Heiligenstein on Twitter @mheiligenstein.