First death reported on 85 mph toll road
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 03:42:38 PM CST
Mustang Ridge police are reporting the first death on state Highway 130, the new toll road that runs 41 miles from Seguin to Austin.
A Mustang Ridge police spokesman confirmed that Martha Melinda Harris, 60, of Lockhart, was killed when her vehicle was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Angela Kolb, 49, also of Lockhart.
The spokesman said the accident is still under investigation but that Harris was attempting to enter the toll road from Highway 183 when she was struck by Kolb's Tahoe.
The speed limit along the road is 85 mph, the fastest in the country.
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"In the last 20, years Interstate 35 has gone from reliable to unreliable to reliably bad, and in that time, we've seen a need for new transportation solutions in central Texas. SH-130 provides that," said Chris Lippincott, spokesperson for Texas Department of Transportation
However, there is a price and drivers will have to decide to pay or not to pay.
For drivers who have a toll tag, the cost for the toll road is about 15 cents per mile. For drivers who take the entire 41-mile route, that adds up to about $6.17 -- or $8.21, if you don't have a toll tag.
Drivers who don't have tags will be sent a bill in the mail. High-speed cameras scan license plates on the toll road and drivers are charged accordingly.
The group Texans Uniting for Freedom met on Monday morning with protest signs in hand, boycotting the toll road.
They believe the road is not the right solution for traffic on I-35. They said it threatens the right to travel and is dangerous and expensive.
"It's a solution for the elite. The wealthy elite will be able to take the toll road back and forth every day," said driver Ken Phelps.
Even Lippincott said SH-130 may not be the best alternative every time but it does give drivers a choice. It'll be up to them to decide if it's in their best interest to spend time or money.
Information about SH-130 routes and how to get a Texas toll tag is available at http://mysh130.com/. Harris County Toll Road Authority tags also work on state Highway 130