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Officials consider tolling 'Bergstrom Expressway'

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TWC News: Officials consider tolling 'Bergstrom Expressway'
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Traffic in Austin is not a new problem. The newest crack at solving an old congestion problem doesn't involve creating new roads, but changing the old.

Mobility planners have their eyes on a seven-mile stretch of Highway 183, between Highway 290 and Highway 71. It’s a corridor that funnels traffic to and from the airport and dubbed the “Bergstrom Expressway.” Several agencies took public input on the development project Tuesday night.

"Getting it up to modern standards as a nonstop expressway is really critical to the economic development of the community and making life better for everyone as well," Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Steve Pustelnyk said.

CAMPO, along with several other organizations, is conducting an environmental study involving a full range of alternatives to identify a preferred solution the area.

"We hope that with tolling, as a potential funding source that we will be able to see this one through to the end and hopefully by 2020 we will have a road open out there."

Some neighbors aren't too happy with the maps and plans.

"It looks like it is going to make it almost impossible to get out of the neighborhood without having to pay a toll," Austin Resident Brian Parrett said. "It kind of tells everybody that is coming to visit Austin, 'hey welcome to Austin thanks, pay us some money so you can get into our lovely town.'"

Still, it may be several years until we see any changes. A timeline spanning years into the future may reduce traffic someday, but for now drivers must continue to deal with a reality of brake lights.

A decision won’t be made on that portion of Highway 183 for the next two years. For more information on the project head to Bergstromexpressway.com.

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