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The fastest road in America: New Austin-to-San Antonio tollway has a need for speed

State Highway 130 toll road
State Highway 130, which runs from Austin to San Antonio, is the fastest roadway in America.

Houston has a new reason to envy the live music capital of the world. Austin is now officially home to the fastest roadway in the nation — and it's not the new Circuit of the Americas track that debuts next month. State Highway 130, a 41-mile toll road running from Austin to San Antonio, opened Wednesday morning with an 85 mph speed limit.

That's 15 miles faster than the highest speed limit on neighboring Interstate 35, and 20 miles faster than the speed limit on Houston's Hardy Toll Road. SH 130 hopes to alleviate some traffic from a chronically congested stretch of Austin interstate.

 The need for speed will cost motorists $6.17 one-way. However, tolls won't take effect until Nov. 11. 

It won't be a free ride, though. The need for speed will cost motorists $6.17 one-way. However, tolls won't take effect until Nov. 11. 

Although State Highway 130 was built by a private company, it was still subject to state regulations. The Texas Legislature set the speed limit at 85 mph. The tollway is located in rural areas, and doesn't pass through cities or neighborhoods like portions of other roadways with lower speed limits do.

Still, the story of the fastest road in America is attracting attention across the country. In an interview with ABC News, a spokesman for the tollroad defended the high speed. 

"We are not building a race track through the middle of town," Chris Lippincott said. "We just want to make sure people can get safely and reliably where they need to go."

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