Two Solutions – Finish SH 45, Fix 290

RECEIVED Mon., April 16, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Re: "Fixing 290: A Different Alternative" [News, April 13]: This is one of the best solutions to help fix 290 that I have heard. The extension of the State Highway 45 southwest from FM 1826 to end at Highway 290 West (near Fitzhugh) is a natural progression of that road and one that had been planned 15 or 20 years ago. (Check your Mapsco map; it's still there.) If SH 45 southwest is not built through to Highway 290, then thousands of cars each day, back and forth between Austin and the Hill Country, will be using little ol' FM 1826. That doesn't sound too environmentally friendly when you consider all that stop-and-go traffic and increased exhaust fumes, noise, and oil runoff onto a little country road.
    We have the technology to build a high-speed road, control the runoff, clean up the runoff, and safely allow it to percolate into the underground aquifer. The alternative is no controls whatsoever, as the runoff will simply drain into the ditches along FM 1826.
    The proposed SH 45 southwest extension to Highway 290 is not in the Barton Springs recharge zone, however, by insisting that the runoff be collected, treated, and discharged to the environment, we could set the foundation for a clean roads program. (I haven't heard of that one yet.)
    Completing the SH 45 Southwest freeway to Highway 290 West will give all of those folks in Johnson City, Fredericksburg, Dripping Springs, and others, an alternative to driving through the Y at Oak Hill to get to the airport, I-35, MoPac, and all things east. This means that Highway 290 over Williamson Creek can have a smaller footprint, it will save the majestic oaks, save Williamson Creek, and get us one step closer to building a highway loop around our city (at least most of it).
    We're going to need the help of people who believe it is possible to build a clean road; I challenge the environmentally conscious civil/chemical engineers to donate some time to this proposal. Build the southwest portions of SH 45 and fix 290; two goals with one big success.
Rick Perkins
Granada Hills
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