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Now that the Express Lanes are open you can visit the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority website for more information about the new lanes. 

About the MoPac Improvement Project

The MoPac Improvement Project added one variably priced toll lane in each direction to an 11-mile stretch of MoPac between Parmer Lane and Cesar Chavez Street. A separate study is underway to look at improvements on MoPac from Cesar Chavez south to Slaughter Lane. For more information visit mopacsouth.com. Historical information about the process that led to completion of the Express Lanes can be found below.

Background:

MoPac is one of Austin's most important arteries, serving as a key route to downtown and points beyond. As a primary alternative to Interstate 35, MoPac carries more than 180,000 cars and trucks each day. By 2030, MoPac is projected to serve more than 320,000 cars a day.

In July 2010, at the urging of local and state leaders, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the City of Austin, and Capital Metro (CapMetro) launched an environmental study to look at options for improving mobility in the corridor.

The environmental study was completed in August 2012 with a Finding of No Significant Impact. The study found that Express Lanes with variable pricing were the preferred alternative for addressing long term mobility issues in the corridor.

Express Lanes are special buffer-separated lanes that use variable tolls to keep traffic moving even when the adjacent lanes are congested. This is accomplished by raising the toll when traffic is heavy and lowering the toll when traffic is light. The lanes provide non-tolled priority service to public transit buses and registered vanpools, but also allow individual drivers the option to use the lanes if they choose to.

The Express Lanes will be located in the middle of the MoPac corridor, separated from the existing lanes by a four to five foot wide striped buffer zone with flexible plastic sticks. Drivers will be able to access the MoPac Express Lanes at Cesar Chavez Street, at Far West Boulevard and Anderson Lane, or at Parmer Lane.

The existing roadway will be widened to accommodate the Express Lanes. However, no additional property will be purchased and all of the existing non-tolled lanes will remain.

In addition to the Express Lanes, the MoPac Improvement Project will include:

The purpose of the MoPac Improvement Project is to:

  • improve mobility
  • manage congestion
  • provide a reliable transit route to reduce travel times
  • improve emergency response
  • maximize use of the facility

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