would be the first in the state
The Texas Department of Transportation is considering building the first ever full service rest area in Texas on a stretch of the SH 130 toll road being completed between Georgetown, north of Austin, and Seguin, east of San Antonio, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The toll road is being built as a way to bypass increasingly congested Interstate 35.
“This really is just an exploratory look at idea that potential developers might have,” TxDOT’s Mark Cross told 1200 WOAI news.
Currently, rest areas in Texas are among the most undeveloped in the country. Most contain little more than rest rooms, picnic tables, and a soda machine or two wrapped in an iron cage.
But TxDOT is considering the types of full service rest areas which are familiar in northern and eastern states, which contain restaurants, gas stations, even motels and other amenities.
Cross says only one of these rest areas is under consideration. It would be just southeast of Austin along SH 130, in a place where the two lanes of the toll road are far enough apart that the service area could be built in the median.
“This way would be easy access into a facility if one was implemented and developed,” he said.
Placing the rest area in the median rather than having services off the roadway would make it easier for motorists to get on and off the toll road. It would also allow one service island to serve both northbound and southbound lanes.
Cross says the companies that would operate the rest area would pay a concession fee, which would help hold down the tolls charged on SH 130.
He stresses this idea is just in the very early stages.
“The idea is to enhance customer service for motorists on the roadway,” he said.
The SH 130 toll road is best known as the highway where motorists may be allowed to drive 85 mph, which would be the highest posted speed limit in the Western Hemisphere.