State Highway 45 Southwest (45SW) in Buda, Texas, recently was honored with a 2021 Build America Award in the Environmental Enhancement category from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. The award will be formally presented to McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. at the Construction Risk Partners Build America Awards Breakfast on Sept. 22 in Orlando, Fla.
The Build America awards honor AGC members who build the nation's most impressive construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy divisions. The awards are considered among the most prestigious in the United States construction industry.
Constructed through a close collaborative partnership between the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, RS&H and McCarthy, the new four-lane, 3.6-mile toll road connects two major thoroughfares, providing needed congestion relief, safer local routes, and improved air and water quality by offering an alternative to gridlocked neighborhood streets. Drivers who use 45SW can expect to save up to 11 minutes compared to driving local routes to reach central Austin, leading to improved quality of life and reduced air emissions. The project was completed in December 2019.
Located near sensitive environmental areas including the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, which sustains Austin’s iconic Barton Springs and provides drinking water to Central Texas communities, McCarthy took extensive environmental protection measures to safeguard this vital area.
The Engineering News-Record, Texas & Louisiana Edition, summarized the result of McCarthy’s environmental protections on Sept. 29, 2020: “Given the highly sensitive environmental concerns surrounding the construction of the $80 million State Highway 45 Southwest toll road, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority set a goal to not only meet environmental standards for the project, but to exceed them. In designing, engineering and constructing the roadway, the project team was able to accomplish that goal.”
The project also features a 4.5-mile trail for local walkers and bikers. The trail includes 14 informative and highly visual signs celebrating the region, and no-mow zones along the path preserve native grasses and wildflowers grown from a custom seed mix designed by Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The highway incorporates new advanced driving features, including modern wrong-way driving technology. The first of its kind in Central Texas, this system actively monitors and detects wrong-way entrants at four locations, deploys countermeasures, and alerts drivers, first responders, and the Traffic & Incident Management Center.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 13th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.