AUSTIN, Texas—Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mike Rollins and Opportunity Austin Chair Gary Farmer sent the following letter to Texas Transportation Commissioner Bruce Bugg, thanking the commission for proposed funding for the IH 35 Capital Expressway project:
"On behalf of Opportunity Austin and our investors, thank you for your action today in seeing that all of the IH 35 Capital Expressway project is funded and ready to proceed. The inclusion of all sections is a clear indication that this is a high priority project for the state and reaffirms strong statements of commitment to this project recently and publicly expressed by Chairman Bugg and members of the Commission. Additionally, we are most thankful for Governor Abbott’s active involvement with you in the effort to secure this funding solution for IH 35 Capital Expressway.
“The economic success of the Central Texas region has been well documented. We have retained our status as one of the fastest-growing regions in the country for the past several years. And we have worked hard to gain and sustain that distinction. Though Opportunity Austin we have helped to add almost 425,000 jobs to the region since 2004.
“But with that success comes challenges, and one of those is severe congestion on our roadways. And the roadway most affected is the IH 35 Corridor, also known as “NAFTA highway,” which is critical not only to continued regional mobility and economic health but also to that of Texas statewide and the country.
“The IH 35 Capital Expressway is the top priority of our region and stakeholders from along this corridor have come together to support this project. Additionally, our members and volunteers have worked diligently for years to see this project through.
“We look forward to partnering with the Commission, TxDOT, and other stakeholders as we move forward. Thank you for your service to Texas."
The public comment period to approve funding for the central segment will open on March 13, 2020. The earliest the commission could vote on this item is April 30, 2020.