A MoPac opening date? Not quite yet

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has pulled back on offering an opening date for the MoPac express toll lane project, but the expanded roadway is likely to open this summer.

“We still think we’re in the summertime ballpark,” Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein said today. “I don’t think there will be much slippage beyond that.”

The MoPac Improvement Project is adding one express toll lane in each direction between Parmer Lane and Lady Bird Lake. Drivers will be able to exit from the southbound express lane to Fifth and Cesar Chavez streets or continue southbound over the lake. Drivers can only enter the northbound express lane when crossing north over the lake or from Cesar Chavez in downtown Austin.



Instead of focusing on a specific date, Heiligenstein said the agency is keeping track of completing significant milestones that need to occur before the project can open.

In the next few weeks, he said the agency expects to reopen the auxiliary or merge lane on northbound MoPac between 35th and 45th streets. Currently, drivers entering MoPac are forced onto the main lanes.

The Mobility Authority will also reopen the northbound exit ramp to RM 2222 in the next couple of weeks, said Steve Pustelnyk, the agency’s director of community relations.

In the next few weeks crews also will be adding the final layer of friction course pavement.

About 210 workers are on the project daily, Pustelnyk said, a number that is a decrease from numbers seen last summer.

“We have a smaller area we’re working in so we have fewer people as a result,” he said.

Heiligenstein said Mobility Authority staffers are still working with contractor CH2M and subcontractor Lane Construction on phasing the opening of the project. If that happens, the entire northbound express lane could open first. In October, part of the northbound express lane opened north of RM 2222 to Parmer.

Disclosure: Amy Ellsworth, general manager for Community Impact Newspaper's Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto edition, was appointed in February to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board of directors, serving a two-year term through Jan. 31, 2019.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Amy Denney

Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.


MOST RECENT

In 2020, Capital Metro will put 12 electric buses into service. The first two went into operation Jan. 26 and feature artwork from students in East Austin. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro increases initial investment in electric buses to 12 vehicles in 2020

Capital Metro will now put 12 electric buses into service in 2020.

Dell Medical School will add a new program in the fall 2020 semester, while UT Health Austin will open an ophthalmology and its Ambulatory Surgery Center in 2020. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper
Health care news to follow in 2020: UT Health Austin expands, Dell Medical School offers new program

UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School, expanded its walk-in clinic in 2019 and relocated the clinic to the first floor of the Health Transformation Building at 1601 Trinity St., Austin.

The Pediatric Ambulatory Center of Excellence at Dell Children's Hospital is expected to be complete in June 2021. (Rendering Courtesy Dell Children's Medical Center)
Dell Children’s Medical Center campus readies for $113m expansion

Construction of the Pediatric Ambulatory Center of Excellence, or PACE, building is set to begin in March.

A photo of an older couple choosing produce
Neighborhood Note: Drippings Farmers Market relocates for winter

The Dripping Springs Farmers Market will move indoors until spring.

Nick Boyd opened a South Austin real estate company in January. (Courtesy Nick Boyd Real Estate Co.)
Nick Boyd Real Estate Co. now open in South Austin

Nick Boyd Real Estate Co. opened in South Austin on Jan. 1.

New dockless vehicles, such as Revel mopeds, have entered the Austin market, in addition to electric scooters, pictured here in West Campus. (Emma Freer/Community Impact Newspaper)
City of Austin expects to see more dockless vehicles used for longer trips in 2020

When electric scooters first arrived in Austin in April 2018, residents and city officials alike raised concerns about regulations, safety and inconvenience.

Austin City Council directed the Austin Police Department to end enforcement of lower-level marijuana possession offenses to furthest extent possible under state law during a Jan. 23 meeting.  (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin police chief doubles down: Cops will continue citing and, in some cases, arresting for pot possession despite City Council direction

The City Council decision does not change how the police department handles marijuana possession, according to the police chief.

Trudy's North Star, located at 8820 Burnet Road, Austin, was closed as of Friday afternoon, Jan. 24, with a sign on the door saying the restaurant would reopen Monday, Jan. 27. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Trudy's files for bankruptcy, owes employees more than $267,000 in unpaid wages

According to court documents, the Tex-Mex restaurant's financial issues started with its Dripping Springs location, which lost over $1 million per year.

Students at Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute in East Austin point to their classmate holding the red bag, whose artwork is featured on the new electric bus. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro sets ambitious goal to eventually replace all 423 buses with electric versions

Starting Jan. 26, riders can ride the new electric buses, which will rotate among routes.

(Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Council members divided over hire of outside attorney in property protest rights lawsuit

Some City Council members said taxpayer dollars should not be used to fight taxpayer interests.

While a new store is scheduled to open in South Austin this March, the H-E-B located at 600 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin, will close this spring. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
South Austin H-E-B openings, closings and renovations expected in 2020

2020 is slated to be a year of major development for H-E-B in the South Austin area, with projects totaling $200 million.

Back to top