The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) was created in 2002 in order to improve the transportation system in the Central Texas counties of Travis and Williamson. There are a few functions that the authority does that most people aren’t aware of.
The first thing that many people don’t know is that the CTRMA is an independent government agency. The authority has no taxing ability to exercise and makes 70% of its income by selling investment bonds on the stock market. Since the authority was created its assets have increased from nothing to $1.8 billion which is used to finance new transportation projects and maintenance throughout the two counties. The remainder of its income comes mainly from the Texas Department of Transportation. Another thing to know about the CTRMA is that it has 7 board members of which 3 are appointed by the Williamson County Commissioners court and 3 by the Travis County Commissioners Court. The Executive Director position, which is occupied by Mike Heiligenstein, is appointed by the Governor of Texas.
The CTRMA operates the Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) which helps stranded motorists, removing road debris, and otherwise helps keep traffic flowing. They also have free roadside assistance and travel apps in order to help motorists. CTRMA will have the $200 million MoPac Improvement Project completed in June of this year. This 11-mile project is adding toll lanes in both directions on North MoPac Boulevard which should lead to road congestion relief in the area around it.
Mike Heiligenstein has been the Executive Director of the authority since it was created. He has also served citizens in the region through his long career of public service. He served for 15 years as a Williamson County Commissioner and was a Round Rock City Council member for 8 years. In addition to his work with the CTRMA he is on the Advisory Council for the Texas Transporation Institute. He also serves a board member for the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association and the Advisory Council for the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Among the other boards that Heiligenstein has a position on includes the Advisory Board of the WTS Heart of Texas and the Texas Technology Task Force. Heiligenstein earned two master’s degrees, one in Government and the other in Business Administration, from the University of Texas.