Austin's daily newspaper is warning commuters of work on Mopac Expressway's horizon.
A page-one story in Wednesday's Austin American-Statesman chronicles the $200 million project to add a toll lane to each side of Mopac from Lady Bird Lake to Parmer Lane.
Work will be noticeable in early December, with dirt first turning in the area between RM 2222 and U.S. 183. There, a large grove of trees in the median will be removed to make way for the added pavement.
The Statesman points out that the project is expected to improve the notoriously slow road that's technically named Loop 1, but for the pain there will be some gain.
Construction will take about two years and, on the upside, builder CH2M Hill doesn't expect lane closures during rush hour. On the downside, the three lanes in each direction remaining open will be flanked by concrete barriers and likely have more curves in them than is currently the case, according to the Statesman. And, the article adds, assuming the mobility authority gets approval from the Texas Transportation Commission later this fall, the speed limit on Mopac will be lowered during construction from 65 mph to 55 mph.
After I-35 it's the busiest north-south highway in the area, and past expansion plans have been thwarted by influential neighborhoods and Union Pacific, which runs trains through much of Mopac's center median.
Source: Original Post