2 years of MoPac construction around the corner

2 years of MoPac construction around the corner

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Austin is known for a lot of things...live music, UT football, politics. But it's also known for being a traffic nightmare.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority says MoPac will be a much happier experience for drivers when all of this is done.

The only problem is that the MoPac Improvement Project construction may cause traffic woes for 2 years while it's being worked on.

Xuan Tran and her son Tobin take MoPac every day.

"Not looking forward to that. But if it's going to make it better, that's good," Tran said.

The construction starts in December. That's when crews will start putting up barrier walls, re-striping and shifting traffic around.

The goal is to put in new express lanes in each direction from Lady Bird Lake up to Parmer, seven miles of sound walls, along with bicycle and pedestrian enhancements and some new landscaping.

So come December, what should drivers keep in mind?

"Well they should be aware that after 9 p.m. at night and until 5 a.m. in the morning they may experience lane closures. They should be extra cautious because around the clock there may be workers out in the corridor working. We won't have lane closures but still there will be changed lane shifts, barrier walls. They need to drive with caution," said Steve Pustelnyk with the Mobility Authority.

Friday morning at a MoPac ground breaking ceremony there were some protesters.

Louis Laves-Webb lives in the Allandale area. He and several other homeowners there are against the proposed sound-wall being put in next to them.

"It will reduce sunset by about an hour and a half. It will block winds. It will also take the place of green space that's there now," Louis-Webb says.

"We're obligated at this point to build it, the environmental document includes it....it's necessary for noise mitigation," said Pustelnyk.

In the meantime, many MoPac drivers will be trying to find a way to avoid the construction traffic altogether.

"Probably leave early to work, maybe leave later from work, I don't know. We'll see how it is," Tran said.

"Yeah we just have to plan to maybe leave earlier or maybe try alternate routes. And always remember at the end of 2 years it's going to be much better," said Krishna Srinivasan.

The mobility authority says the first phase of construction starting in December will be North of 2222 up to Hwy 183. Then they'll move south to Enfield and eventually North toward Parmer.

By next summer the whole corridor should be under construction with a finish date of late 2015.

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