Crews work on the MoPac Improvement Project near the Lake Austin Boulevard exit ramp, which will be closed for at least 30 days beginning April 26.[/caption]
Starting the evening of April 26, the Lake Austin Boulevard exit ramp on southbound MoPac will close for at least 30 days to allow crews to reconstruct it as part of the MoPac Improvement Project.
Steve Pustelnyk, director of community relations for the project, said the decision to close the exit was deemed the best option to expedite reconstruction. He said the new exit ramp will be rebuilt at a higher elevation to accommodate construction of underpasses into downtown for the new toll lanes.
"[The contractor] did an extensive traffic analysis, and we took steps to mitigate traffic," Pustelnyk said.
Mitigation efforts include adding a temporary right-turn only lane on Winsted Lane—which runs parallel to MoPac—for traffic wanting to turn onto Enfield Road. Results of the traffic study indicated there could be additional delays on MoPac for drivers exiting at Enfield during peak hours but little effect on traffic during midday hours.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is overseeing construction of the MoPac project to add one toll lane in each direction between Parmer Lane and Lady Bird Lake.
The exit will be closed for at least 30 days, but Pustelnyk said it could be extended longer. The Mobility Authority will monitor traffic to gauge the effect of the ramp closure. If it is deemed too negative, the contractor could face fines for closing the exit ramp for longer than 30 days. This is to discourage closure of the ramp for longer than necessary, Pustelnyk said.
Drivers have numerous alternative routes to use, Pustelnyk said. One is exiting at Enfield Road and continuing on Winsted or exiting at Windsor Road, turning right and then turning left onto Exposition Boulevard. Drivers may also exit at Fifth Street and use Sixth Street to head back west to Lake Austin Boulevard or continue across Lady Bird Lake and use the U-turn at Bee Caves Road to head north on MoPac and then exit at Lake Austin.
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 11 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.