If you thought the traffic on Mopac couldn't get any worse, think again. This Sunday, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority will close another lane of Mopac for about six months!
The seemingly never ending Mopac Improvement Project is on a roll.
“We're adding the manage lanes. Those manage lanes are where the tolls in the future will be collected,” J.D. Stokes, senior project manager, said.
To benefit from the widening, there will be some road blocks. The already jam packed highway will close another lane this weekend on the northbound side.
“Sunday morning, you'll see the three lanes you always have but the auxiliary lane between 35th and 45th will be closed off by a concrete barrier,” Stokes said.
Added to that, officials say the right side general purpose lane will close for a few days to get the work zone established. From there, the auxiliary, or the "merge" lane will be closed for about six months.
“There's going to be some learning curve that we expect, perhaps up to 15 minutes over the next week or so,” Stokes said.
Drivers are already feeling the pain. Virginia Pratt lives near 35th.
“I'll take every back road to not have to get on Mopac,” she said.
But to Pratt, the finished product is worth the trouble.
“We definitely need another lane on Mopac and I hope it helps ease the situation a little bit,” she said.
Steve Koepke has already had a few run ins with the project.
“Enfield was closed, from there to Westover it was about an hour and a half,” he said.
The CTRMA says they are on schedule, and hope drivers can be patient while they help ease some of the pain of Mopac, aka, “Slow”pac.
Officials say that 15 minute drive time delay is just an estimate. It’s good practice to allow yourself some leeway on your morning commute.