The month of March marks the 9th anniversary of the opening of 183A Toll, the Mobility Authority’s inaugural project. Completed under budget and opened to traffic more than seven years ahead of schedule, this project quickly reduced gridlock, paving the way for reduced north-south travel times in the region and offering Central Texans an alternative to U.S. 183.
And it’s clear that travelers recognize the benefits of enhanced mobility and safer travel, with the roadway quickly surpassing both usage and revenue expectations. Total system transactions in 2015 showed a 23% increase over 2014.
183A Delivers More Than Mobility
This project has done far more than move vehicle traffic more efficiently. 183A opened up a new corridor for growth, spurring dynamic economic development, including the opening of the Cedar Park Center, large mixed-use developments and the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.
Since 183A Toll opened in March 2007, Cedar Park has been among the fastest-growing cities in the nation, and this year will hit an estimated population of 66,000 – double its size in 2002. Other developments include the 1890 Ranch retail development and Cedar Park Town Center and Scottsdale Crossing housing and retail centers. New healthcare resources have also been brought to the community, with the expansion of the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, which employs more than 1,000 people.
The project has also led to job growth in the area. Since the Cedar Park Center opened in January 2010, employment in Cedar Park has grown from 25,755 to 32,816 by the end of 2015, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.4% to 2.7%.
Most importantly, the development has created new resources for the community, most notably in health care. The Cedar Park Regional Medical Center continues to expand its campus along 183A, with a third medical office building under construction slated to provide specialty pediatric care. Once completed, there will be over 500,000 square feet of medical facilities on the campus.
Moving More Than Vehicle Traffic
The benefits of 183A extend beyond motorists. A 10 foot-wide shared use path spans 7.2 miles of the corridor offering multi-modal connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians.
Economic Development on the Horizon for Leander
Leander is experiencing the same growth as its neighbor to the south. Since the northern extension of 183A opened in April 2012, Leander has seen vigorous residential growth. The city’s population is growing rapidly due to a giant housing boom that took off following the opening of 183A extension.
Growth in the public sector is also occurring. The influx of families moving in has resulted in a new elementary school, high school and two fire stations. Austin Community College has also announced it will build a campus in Leander designed to serve three to four thousand students by 2018.
For our full report on economic development along 183A click here.