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SH 45 Gap Study

Hays County is conducting a study to explore the feasibility of constructing SH 45 between I-35 and RM 1626.

Over the last 35+ years, most portions of SH 45 have been constructed, including the sections east of I-35 and west of RM 1626 — leaving a “gap” between the two highways. Several large-scale residential and mixed-use developments are currently planned in this area between I-35 and RM 1626. As more development plans progress, the SH 45 Gap Project becomes more challenging and impactful. Hays County, in partnership with the City of Buda, is exploring the feasibility of the Gap Project before the area is substantially developed.

SH 45 Gap Study Area
Parallel Lines

Study Goals

  • Conduct the study in a proactive and transparent manner

  • Minimize impacts to existing and planned development

  • Engage and gather input from a broad range of stakeholders, property owners, and local and regional leaders

  • Identify strategies for environmental protection and associated  best practices

  • Identify conceptual route option(s) for additional and more detailed studies

This study includes

Traffic Data icon

Collecting traffic data and conducting studies to determine current and future traffic volumes and patterns

Public Engagement icon

Public engagement, including coordination with property owners, the local community, regional and local partners, and other interested stakeholders

Public Meetings

Public meetings to gather input and identify priorities 

Route Options icon

Identifying and developing potential route options

Environmental Issues icon

Identifying environmental constraints and issues

Cost Estimates icon

Identifying preliminary right of way needs and construction cost estimates 

Study Report icon

Final study report documenting findings and recommendations

This study is the first step of many in project development and is a pre-National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planning-level study. If the project moves forward, funding would need to be identified for NEPA studies, right of way acquisition, and construction. 


SH 45 History

SH 45 was initially envisioned as a loop called the Austin Outer Parkway encircling the city of Austin. The Austin Outer Parkway concept was included in the Austin Metropolitan Transportation Plan, adopted in 1986. Significant portions of SH 45 have been constructed. Both Hays County and the City of Buda have identified the need for the Gap Project in their transportation plans. 

SH 45 Gap Study

Edwards Aquifer

The Edwards Aquifer is a groundwater system that provides drinking water for two million Texans and has several unique environmental features. There are four regulated zones: 

  • Contributing Zone

  • Recharge Zone 

  • Transition Zone

  • Contributing Zone within the Transition Zone 

A portion of the study area is in the Edwards Aquifer Transition Zone. No part of the study area is in the Recharge or Contributing Zones.


In addition to complying with regulatory requirements, this study will identify potential best practices for environmental protection.

SH 45 Gap Project Area - Edwards Aquifer.png
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