Drivers will finally see some relief now that the new ramp system connecting the MoPac Expressway and U.S. Highway 290 has opened.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday morning to officially open the interchange. Mayor Lee Leffingwell and TxDOT officials were present during the ceremony to mark the opening of the flyover that connects U.S. 290 West and southbound MoPac in south Austin.
For many years, the exit ramps at the intersection near MoPac and U.S. 290 led commuters nowhere. Now that all of the gaps have been filled in, drivers can now bypass the several traffic lights they used to have to go through to get onto MoPac from 290.
The new ramp system is the final part of an $8 million project that was funded by the city of Austin. It took some creative financing to get the deal for the new flyover completed; an issue Mayor Leffingwell playfully referenced.
"The city of Austin, I believe for the first time, provided the financing for the improvements. TxDOT provided the expertise to actually design and build it. And we're very hopeful they are going to pass us back for our investment in just a few years," said Leffingwell.
The actual pay back of the investment for the new ramp system is contingent upon a traffic count formula that could stretch out payments as far as twenty years.
An estimated 29,000 vehicles will travel over the new flyover each day.