Chamber backs  the Unified Transportation Program to support toll roads

The Alamo Area MPO Transportation Policy Board took action this week to approve the regional list of projects and resolution of support for the FY 2017 Unified Transportation Program (UTP). Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez attended the meeting to testify in support of the program and emphasized the importance of congestion relief in a city expected to increase by 1.5 million new residents by 2040. “The Chamber has advocated for a system of toll roads in San Antonio for many years. This vote by the MPO board provides us with a real opportunity to begin to use tolls to help relieve traffic congestion,” said Perez.

The project package consists of twelve highway projects, totaling more than $1.5 billion that would be added to the five-year plan. The largest project in the package – the Loop 1604 Managed Lanes Project – will add two new toll lanes in each direction between Bandera Road (SH 16) and IH 35 North, a distance of 22.8 miles.

Loop 1604 is the primary east-west corridor for the northern portion of Bexar County.  It is 60 percent over capacity today and projected to rise to 168 percent over capacity by 2045.  Loop 1604 is home to various tourist attractions, major shopping centers, numerous corporate headquarters and UTSA. The severe congestion that presently exists along this corridor already causes significant delays and increases costs for commuters, students, local businesses, and others who make use of the corridor.

The Alamo Area MPO will next be taking the project package before the Texas Transportation Commission in March for funding approval.

The Chamber applauds the Alamo Area MPO Policy Board for their vote of approval and the hard work completed by the Regional Mobility Authority. This is a great first step in relieving congestion along one of the fastest-growing areas in our state.

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