Updates from the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s key highway projects in Austin show construction work is generally on track with expected lags and accelerations where possible.
Mike Sexton, senior project manager and acting director of engineering at the Mobility Authority, presented the updates to the board at their regular board meeting Jan. 25. Projects, such as the 183A Phase 3 Project, the 183 North Mobility Project, the MoPac Cemetery Tree Planting Project and the Barton Skyway Ramp Relief Project, are in the construction phase. For each, the Mobility Authority has planned public outreach, the details of which are available at the project pages on www.mobilityauthority.com.
Sexton cited multiple reasons why projects can slow down or speed up. Extended rain and crews taking vacation in December does slow down contractors, but after they return in mid-January, he said it slowly begins to catch up.
“March or late February they plan to go to a double shift and start adding more crews, so they'll be working night and day to keep the projects on track,” Sexton said.
Here are the progress reports on four major Mobility Authority projects in Austin.
183A Phase 3 Project
The project includes a 5.3-mile extension of the existing 10-mile 183A Toll to the north between Leander and Liberty Hill. Total project cost is expected to be $259 million with a construction cost of $175 million. Construction began at the end of March in 2021 and is expected to be complete early 2025. The project is about 43% complete. Sexton presented images of work underway to the board showing a breakdown of the number of retaining walls, beams, bridge columns and construction work.
183 North Mobility Project
The 9-mile express lane project along US 183 between MoPac and SH 45 will cost $612 million once complete. Construction work began in April and is expected to complete by early 2026. Looking at the project timeline, it is about 38.8% complete as of November. The project is in the stages where high-mast lighting is being installed. Additionally, median paving, bridge shaft and column work, drainage of additional lanes, and utility adjustments are underway.
MoPac Cemetery Tree Planting Project
A tree planting and irrigation system installation is underway at Austin’s Memorial Park Cemetery at the intersection of RM 2222 and MoPac. The project has a total cost of a little less than $600,000 and is expected to be complete early March. Along with irrigation work, 55 trees will be planted on the grounds. This project will not make any disturbance to the cemetery, a CTRMA report about MoPac tree planting said.
Barton Skyway Ramp Relief Project
This project involves pavement widening for auxiliary and merge lanes along southbound MoPac at Barton Skyway and Loop 360. The project is expected to cost $10.1 million and will be complete in early 2024. Drawings and material acquisition is underway for this project, which is set to start on Jan. 31.