The MoPAC project is making headway and we want to give you a few details. The project is about 70 percent complete. No doubt you have noticed the new exit lanes for the Cesar Chavez/5th street exit that opened this week. There is now one ramp for the southbound exits of Cesar Chavez Street, 5th Street and Lake Austin Boulevard. You will still be able to access the three roads, but you will exit sooner than you previously did. This change will be in place for about five months. You can learn more from the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA).
While the MoPAC Improvement project includes many components, the biggest change will be the new lanes on each side of the highway. The idea behind the new Express Lanes is that controlled access and variable pricing will ensure a constant flow of traffic in those lanes. It should allow transit, emergency vehicles, and drivers to more easily navigate a typically, very congested corridor. CTRMA says initial toll rates could range from $0.25 to $4.00 per trip, but could go higher as demand rises.
The constantly flowing lane, there's one on each side, will keep big transit vehicles like buses moving faster and out of the traffic mix on the main lanes. It could also encourage more people to carpool, since by doing so, they can split the costs of the variable toll and use the faster-moving lanes regularly. More bus riders and carpoolers means less single-occupancy cars on MoPAC overall, which should lead to less congestion.
The lanes have three main access points: