Photo by Christine Bolaños
The Texas Department of Public Safety, city and state officials broke ground Feb. 2 on the Pflugerville driver's license "megacenter"—one of six planned across the state.
The 23,840-square-foot facility, which will be the only one of its kind in Central Texas, is part of a $63 million initiative from the state Legislature aimed at decreasing wait time at driver's license centers.
“Drivers license centers serve people of all ages and income levels and with an increasing population, the Legislature noticed that was a need for more resources,” said Rebecca Davio, assistant director of of the driver license division at the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“We are increasing our trained staff by 25 percent, leveraging technology and simplifying procedures for a faster experience and a safer Texas,” she said.
The center will have a computerized check-in similar to check-ins at airports, a queuing system and other measures aimed at smoothing the process and cutting wait times in half. It is expected to generate 500-600 trips per day and 57 jobs.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, in partnership with Texas State University, conducted an analysis to identify the areas of Texas that were underserved by driver's license facilities, and Central Texas was one of the areas identified.
The Texas Department of Public Safety considered both the cities of Austin and Pflugerville as potential construction sites before chosing Pflugerville, Davio said.
“We met with PCDC [Pflugerville Community Development Corp.], the planning department and the council and everyone worked on the timeline. Austin has a bureaucracy that prevents this type of development from happening,” said Jerry Reed, president of Development 2000 Inc., which won the bid.
PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers said the job openings could be filled by Pflugerville residents.
“This is the exact type of employment we want to have here in Pflugerville,” he said.
The groundbreaking was held at 900 Wells Branch Parkway, at the northeast corner of Wells Branch Parkway and Heatherwilde Boulevard.