Mike Heiligenstein, the Executive Director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTMRA) is optimistic about the future of toll roads. While he was speaking in a forum of Texas Department of Transportation in San Antonio, Mike explained the prospects of toll roads including State Highway 130 and their influence in Texas transportation sector.
Though not many drivers are using SH 130, Mike expects that more people would start using it in the coming years considering the overflowing capacity in Interstate 35. It is found that I-35 can’t have any options to add more lanes in cities and neighborhoods, Colorado River in Austin, etc.
Additionally, from San Antonio to Austin most of the traffic are local or regional, and the authority is looking for options to add capacity to SH 130 not by just moving cars or trucks. Mike also confirmed that there are some improvements noted in the number trucks and cars in Austin area regarding SH 130.
To a question on the feasibility of toll roads in future considering poor financial performances of the same in recent years, Mike replied that toll roads are not the only answer to address the transportation capacity. However, it is one of the tools the authority is planning to use, and its role as one of the solutions can’t be debated.
According to Biz Journals, Mike Heiligenstein also pointed out the fact that in the Austin area, the authority could leverage public money to a program which surpasses now more than $1 billion in construction. Interestingly, the authorities’ work to extend 183A did not use any tax amount but entirely funded by revenues from users.
Since 2003, Mike has been serving the Mobility Authority and helped the agency to grow from a startup transportation authority to a national leader in toll road operations. He helped the agency to implement all-electronic tolling and video billing as Heiligenstein believes that technology can ensure hassle-free transport solutions. Deeply focused on delivering efficient transportation solutions, Mike also thinks about pedestrian and bicycle facilities and includes options for them wherever possible.
Before working with CTMRA, Mike Heiligenstein has long 30-years of experience as a public official. Initially, he worked as a Council Member of Round Rock City and later as the Commissioner of Williamson County.
During the period, Mike Heiligenstein took care of various transportation projects, parkland acquisitions, Brushy Creek Regional Trail development, etc. He completed his graduation in Governments from the University of Texas and did master’s in Business Administration and Governments.
Mike is also on the boards of several transportation agencies and initiatives across the state including Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and Texas Transportation Institute.