Appellate panel clears way for Texas 45 SW construction


A three-judge appellate panel on Friday denied a request for an injunction in the Texas 45 Southwest case, clearing the way for construction on the tollway to begin.

“We expected that the stay would be denied,” said Mike Heiligenstein, executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, which will build and operate the 3.6-mile, four-lane road connecting the south end of South MoPac Boulevard to FM 1626.

“Our contractor will be on the ground Tuesday with equipment beginning construction,” Heiligenstein said.

A highway in that location has been on local plans since the late 1980s, and was the subject of an earlier lawsuit that was settled in 1992. This time, with the passage of time and a new design, the project was challenged in federal court in February by the Save Our Springs Alliance and 11 other plaintiffs, including two former Austin mayors.

That underlying lawsuit continues for now, with a trial possible in the coming months. But the mobility authority and its contractor by then likely will have cleared much of the right of way of trees and other vegetation.

Read the full story on this breaking news development.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed
Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed

The Austin district board Monday night approved the 2018-19 school calendar, and students will attend school one less day than this year. Here are the highlights: • Students will be back in class Monday, Aug. 20, but summer will come early as they get out May 24, 2019, the Friday before Memorial Day. • Students will attend school 176 days...
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 

Austin police are looking for two drivers who left the scene of a hit-and-run early Sunday after the first one struck a motorcyclist and the second one ran over the victim’s motorcycle.   The motorcyclist was heading north on South Congress Avenue about 2 a.m. when someone driving a black Lexus in the opposite direction hit him while...
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy

Days after one Austin district trustee was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen community members Monday night announced the creation of a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education...
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday

As the federal government shutdown rolled into Monday — the only business day of the three-day closure — calls to affected Austin-area agencies went unanswered, building doors were locked and employees stayed home. At Fort Hood, 40 percent of about 6,000 civilian employees were told to not come into work. When reached by cell phone, Christopher...
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix

Two years after the Texas Supreme Court suggested sweeping reforms to the school finance system, a newly formed state commission will hold the first of several meetings Tuesday in an effort to find a fix to the system by the end of December. The 13-member Texas Commission on Public School Finance, composed of school district officials, lawmakers and...
More Stories