The north extension of Toll 183A opened April 6, two years after construction began and about seven years earlier than originally planned.
The $105 million tollway stretches 5 miles from FM 1431 in Cedar Park to just north of FM 2243 in Leander. Mike Heiligenstein, executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, said the tollway will promote growth, development and mobility.
“We think it’s a huge economic driver,” he said. “We think the developing of this new toll facility will create an economic engine to attract people to that corridor. The economy will change, and this entire area will be ready for future growth.”
Leander Development Services Director Jim Bechtol said intersections along the new extension will eventually resemble the area around FM 1431 and Toll 183A. The road bisects Leander’s transportation-oriented district, an area of town planned with urban features, possibly including five- and six-story buildings.
“The evolution of development along the toll in Leander will be interesting to watch. Not only will opportunities along the toll be exciting, the downsizing of old 183 will allow Leander to capitalize on economic development in ways that have not been available in the past,” he said, adding he hopes city leaders will mindfully transition from a commuter town to a city with significant services.
Commuters in particular will benefit from the extension, City Manager Kent Cagle said.
“Historically, tollways have been constructed to serve rush-hour traffic in one direction in the morning and the opposite in the evening, but they end up spurring development in the less-congested areas, and the traffic flows become more even throughout the day. I see the same scenario playing out in Leander and Williamson County,” Cagle said.
The completed roadway lengthens the entirety of Toll 183A to approximately 16.6 miles. The Mobility Authority accepts TxTag, TollTag and EZ TAG on the cashless toll road, and drivers can also pay by mail.
Between 450,000 and 500,000 vehicles in the region have TxTags, Heiligenstein said. Tolling began immediately upon opening.