The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Policy Board has approved a $130m fund for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority's transportation project in Texas, US.
The MoPac Improvement Project will cost about $200m and include the construction of express lanes on an 11-mile stretch from Cesar Chavez Street in downtown Austin to Parmer Lane in north Austin.
The Mobility Authority, over a period of 25 years, will deposit $230m into a regional infrastructure fund, which can be used for non-tolled and tolled transportation projects, such as the improvement of Interstate 35 in Central Texas.
CAMPO Policy Board chairman Will Conley said this is an incredible opportunity for the region.
"Central Texas has some of the worst traffic in the country and we desperately need more money to improve mobility in critical corridors like MoPac and Interstate 35," Conley added.
"This innovative response to the transportation funding crisis will pay off for central Texas in the years to come."
The authority, with the approved funds, can avoid bond sale and save over $314m in interest and principal payments.
Mobility Authority Chairman Ray Wilkerson said the authority's commitment to create the regional infrastructure fund represents an unprecedented regional partnership for mobility solutions.
"Rather than using toll revenue from the MoPac Express Lanes to pay back bond investors, we'll be able to allocate that money to critical transportation projects in central Texas," Wilkerson added.
"At a time of tremendous uncertainty regarding future transportation funding, our local community is thinking out of the box and leading the nation when it comes to innovative ways to address local mobility challenges."
The MoPac Improvement Project will also include the construction of sound walls, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and aesthetic enhancements.
The authority is expected to start design and construction work in 2013.