The Williamson County Growth Summit was held at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel. The summit featured a panel of individuals who are involved in various capacities in the transportation sector. They include Joseph Kopser who is the founder of RideScout and Mike Heiligenstein who is the founding director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
Heiligenstein called for the development of more transportation infrastructure in the area due to the projected rise of population in the area. He noted that technology would come to play a vital role in the area’s transportation and there was a need to develop more roads that would serve the area’s inhabitants. Heiligenstein stated that technology would also need to be integrated into the road infrastructure to create smarter roads. He pointed that this was the only way that they could meet the mobility demands of the residents in the future. Jared Ficklin is a product designer from ArgoDesign. He said that policymakers needed to revise building and land codes so that they could accommodate the inception of autonomous cars.
Mike Heiligenstein has served as the founding director of CTRMA since it was founded in 2002. He is the president of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike. Mike is involved with various transportation committees in the area. He was a public official in Williamson County for more than twenty years before joining CTRMA. The mission of CTRMA is to develop transportation projects to reduce congestion and improve mobility in Travis and Williamson Counties. These projects are developed in collaboration with private contractors who have a track record of delivering excellent results.
Some of the authority’s past projects include 183A Toll Road and the U.S 290 Toll road. These roads have helped to decongest other roads in the area because they have a larger capacity. The MoPac Express Lanes that they are developing will incorporate variable tolling so that the flow of traffic is predictable. They will also embed fiber infrastructure in some roads so that these roads can offer motorists a better driving experience in the future. CTRMA are aware that they will need to encourage people to use other means of transport to decongest the roads. They also started the Highway Emergency Response Operator program which helps motorists whose cars have had major breakdowns.