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Weather Postpones New MoPac Construction (Update)

Jillian Schantz Patrick/KUT News
Construction work this week on MoPac includes restriping lanes.

Update: Austin's latest surge of winter weather means postponement of lane restriping work on MoPac.

While lane closures continue, lane restriping  probably won't begin until after Friday's expected rains, and possible freezing precipitation on Saturday. See the tweet below:

Original story (Dec. 9): Construction work on MoPac is about to get underway. Overnight lane closures begin tonight as crews install construction signs in preparation for restriping portions of the road.

It’s the first phase of the $200 million MoPac Improvement Project, and it will ultimately impact nighttime driving on the 11-mile stretch of highway, from Parmer Lane to Cesar Chavez St.

MoPac, named for the Missouri Pacific rail line it was built next to, was designed in 1961 for a population near a quarter of a million. Needless to say, Austin has since outgrown that number.

The MoPac Improvement Project’s Steve Pustelnyk says improving MoPac’s functionality has been in the works for three years, but now “reality is about to hit.”

“Construction signs are going up, and we will start to see crews overnight restriping the highway and starting to put out a concrete barrier wall,” Pustelnyk says. “I think by Christmas time, it will look like the corridor is really getting under construction.”

While most of the major construction projects will take place overnight, Pustelnyk says crewmembers will be present around the clock in the construction zone. And because of that, he’s asking that drivers stay aware of their surroundings.

“Eventually there may be a reduction in speed, for safety reasons during construction,” Pustelnyk says. “Be aware, be careful because there are people out there working that are trying to make the corridor better – but in doing so they are having to be in areas with high speed traffic, and that is risky.” 

Major work on the project will be suspended during the upcoming holidays, with construction picking back up in January. The MoPac Improvement Project is expected to be complete by late 2015.

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