About the MoPac Improvement Project
The MoPac Improvement Project will give drivers the option to bypass congestion on the 11-mile stretch of MoPac between Parmer Lane and Cesar Chavez Street and get to their destination without delay. Click here for a printable fact sheet on the project.
MoPac is one of Austin's most important arteries, serving as a key route to downtown and points beyond. As a primary alternative to Interstate 35, MoPac carries more than 180,000 cars and trucks each day. By 2030, MoPac is projected to serve more than 320,000 cars a day.
In July 2010, at the urging of local and state leaders, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the City of Austin, and Capital Metro (CapMetro) launched an environmental study to look at options for improving mobility in the corridor.
The environmental study was completed in August 2012 with a Finding of No Significant Impact. The study found that Express Lanes with variable pricing were the preferred alternative for addressing long term mobility issues in the corridor.
Estimated project length: Approximately 11 miles, from Parmer Lane to Cesar Chavez Street, with a transition to the existing lanes south of Lady Bird Lake.
The purpose of the MoPac Improvement Project is to:
Express Lanes are special buffer-separated lanes that use variable tolls to keep traffic moving even when the adjacent lanes are congested. This is accomplished by raising the toll when traffic is heavy and lowering the toll when traffic is light. The lanes provide non-tolled priority service to public transit buses and registered vanpools, but also allow individual drivers the option to use the lanes if they choose to.
The Express Lanes will be located in the middle of the MoPac corridor, separated from the existing lanes by a four to five foot wide striped buffer zone with flexible plastic sticks. Drivers will be able to access the MoPac Express Lanes at Cesar Chavez Street, at Far West Boulevard and Anderson Lane, or at Parmer Lane.
The existing roadway will be widened to accommodate the Express Lanes. However, no additional property will be purchased and all of the existing non-tolled lanes will remain.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has hired CH2M HILL to design and build Express Lanes on north MoPac from Cesar Chavez Street to Parmer Lane. The firm began design work in April 2013. The project groundbreaking was held in October 2013 and the Express Lanes are expected to open as early as fall 2015. In addition to the Express Lanes, the MoPac Improvement Project includes aesthetic enhancements, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, plus the construction of sound walls to mitigate roadway noise. The Express Lanes will be constructed within the existing property limits, so no property is being acquired.
Lane closures are generally limited to Sunday nights from 5 pm to 6 am and Monday through Thursday 8 pm to 6 am. At times the Mobility Authority may approve lane closures outside these times if it helps expedite completion of the project. CH2M HILL will face financial penalties any time lanes are closed outside of approved times. Despite these restrictions and a concerted effort to keep traffic moving, drivers should still anticipate slowdowns and nearby residents should expect night time noise.
More information about the MoPac Improvement Project including detailed lane closure information can be found on our project site, www.MoPacExpress.com. You can also access project videos showing what it will be like to drive the new lanes.
MORe on express lanes:
In September 2012, the Mobility Authority hosted a workshop on Express Lanes, the MoPac Improvement Project and other future Express Lane projects coming to our region. Click below to view the presentations seen at the Workshop.