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How and Where Can I Access the Express Lanes?

For an Express Lane to function safely and effectively in a heavily congested corridor like MoPac, access to and from the Express Lane must be controlled or limited. If access is not restricted, traffic in the Express Lane can slow down or back up as drivers try to weave in and out of the lane.

To control access and separate the Express Lanes from the adjacent regular lanes, a buffer zone with flexible plastic sticks will be constructed. While drivers will only be able to legally enter or exit the Express Lanes at designated locations, emergency vehicles will be able to drive over the flexible sticks and access the lanes to remove disabled vehicles easily anywhere along the 11-mile route.

During development of the MoPac Improvement Project, the project team conducted traffic studies and developed traffic models to determine the best location for entry and exit points. It was determined there should only be three access points:

  • North: near Parmer Lane
  • Central: between Far West Boulevard and RM 2222
  • South: at Cesar Chavez Street and 5th Street

NORTH

  • Northbound: The Express Lane will end just south of the Parmer Lane exit allowing drivers to merge across traffic and exit at Parmer Lane or continue north on MoPac.
  • Southbound: The Express Lane will begin just south of the Parmer Lane overpass. Drivers heading south on Loop 1 Toll or entering MoPac from the Scofield Ridge Parkway entrance will be able to access the Express Lane at that point. Drivers entering MoPac southbound at Parmer Lane will not be able to access the Express Lane until the Central access point south of Far West Boulevard. However, Parmer Lane drivers can choose to go north on the MoPac frontage road, do a u-turn at Scofield Ridge Parkway and then enter MoPac to access the Express Lane.

CENTRAL

  • Northbound: Just north of RM 2222 there will be a break in the plastic sticks and an auxiliary lane will be built to allow traffic heading north in the Express Lane to safely merge into the regular lanes and then exit to Far West Boulevard and other exists north of that point including US 183. Meanwhile traffic coming north on MoPac will be able to merge into the Express Lane just north of RM 2222. Drivers entering here must stay in the Express Lane until they reach the Parmer Lane exit.
  • Southbound: Just south of Far West Boulevard there will be a break in the plastic sticks and an auxiliary lane will be built to allow traffic heading south in the Express Lane to safely merge into the regular lanes and then exit to RM 2222 and other exits south of that point. Meanwhile, traffic coming south on MoPac from US 183 and other points along MoPac will be able to use the auxiliary lane to merge into the Express Lane. Drivers entering here must stay in the Express Lane until they reach Cesar Chavez Street and Lady Bird Lake.

SOUTH

  • Northbound: Drivers heading north on MoPac will be able to enter the Express Lane on the north side of Lady Bird Lake. Drivers heading north out of downtown Austin will able to enter the Express Lane directly from Cesar Chavez Street via a special entrance ramp.
  • Southbound: Drivers heading south in the Express Lane will have the option to exit directly to Cesar Chavez Street and 5th Street via a special exit ramp or they can continue south where the Express Lane will merge with the existing lanes. An environmental study is underway to look at the mobility needs on the MoPac corridor from Cesar Chavez Street south to Slaughter Lane (please visit www.MoPacSouth.com).

Please see the MoPac Express Lane Conceptual Videos to better see how you can access the express lanes.

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