In January 2014, Mike Heiligenstein, the executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was interviewed for fifteen minutes. The discussion covered the rising demands for modern infrastructure in Texas. The interview focused on his observations and opinion on the toll roads in Texas and his thoughts on the possibilities of the roads causing traffic issues in the state. He also addressed the solutions put in place to deal with the problems.
The first question addressed the State Highway 130 road. Mike was asked why the road experienced no traffic yet it has been downgraded. According to Mr. Heiligenstein, the demand for the 130 roads is high, and the issues of the road lie with Interstate 35 being in need of more attention in the next decades. He also added that other places did not have the right road structure to support many lanes either vertically or horizontally. Mike stated that most experts hold the view that with increased capacity of the road, there will be increased automobiles to the 130 roads through dispatch. He indicated that the long term solution is increased road capacity to beat traffic.
Mike believes that there are many solutions in addressing road problems to reduce traffic. To him, toll roads should not be part of the road issues because they have a significant financial input to the society. Toll roads have part of the bigger solutions when it comes to solving issues about the roads. Mike was optimistic about toll roads given that in Austin, they received a funding of approximately $ 1 billion to suffice the extension. He also said that the investors make a huge part of the project set aside for building roads. In the last project of traffic, the budget was approximately $ 300 million. The investors pledged through more than ten subscriptions. With such support, Mike was sure of better, modern roads in future.
He is the current head cheerleader of the Central Texas Regional Mobility known as CTRM. This is an independent agency from the government. It was established in 2002 with the aim to design a state of the art modern and regional transport network. Its operations commenced in 2003 with Mike as the leader.
Mike serves as the board chair of the Texas Transportation Institute as well as International Bridge and Tunnel Association.
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