Starting early Saturday morning, the northbound side of MOPAC between Lady Bird Lake and Enfield will lose a lane for six months.
Crews are going to start working on building an underpass. A similar one is already under construction on the southbound side.
The underpass will lead to the express lanes being built here on MOPAC.
The northbound side of MOPAC had been two lanes until 2010.
"Some people in the northbound direction may experience slightly increased travel times," says Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority's Steve Pustelnyk, adding, "People coming in from downtown, on Cesar Chavez and Sixth will actually experience better travel time, so there will be some positives and some negatives associated with this."
Pustelnyk says rush hour drivers will likely experience delays, more so than morning commuters.
The long delayed project has faced countless hurdles, so many in fact the contractor CH2M was put on notice just before the holidays.
"It is a complicated project," Pustelnyk says, "when you've got the second busiest highway in Central Texas and you are trying to expand it under live traffic."
On Friday, CTRMA and CH2M finally struck a tentative agreement about how to get the project finished by Fall 2016. "Certainly the project's been frustrating for us," Pustelnyk says, "we're just thankful that we've been able to work through them."
Northbound MOPAC Drivers can expect:
- Starting at 10PM on Friday night, drivers coming from downtown should avoid MOPAC between Cesar Chavez and Windsor. It will be closed so crews can re-configure the lanes.
- Starting at 10PM on Friday night, the center and right lanes NB will be closed from Lady Bird Lake to Enfield, only the left lane will be open.
- After midnight, traffic heading North will be forced to exit at Enfield, to bypass the construction zone.
- The section between Lady Bird Lake and Enfield is scheduled to re-open between 5AM and 7AM on Saturday morning.
- Drivers in the left or center lane will be able to keep driving North on MOPAC, drivers in the right lane will have to take the Enfield bypass
Crews are putting up temporary signs, and the speed limit in that zone.