Temporary lane stripes on MoPac still causing confusion

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of the most heavily traveled stretches of highway in Central Texas is under construction. Some drivers say the current state of the road on MoPac is confusing and dangerous.

From downtown Austin to U.S Highway 183, there are different, narrower lanes.

Some who travel that stretch of road say it is hard to tell the new, narrower lanes from the old ones. Certain conditions make it worse.

Last December, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority scraped up old lane stripes and covered them with black paint. The black paint began wearing off so they repainted them. Now complaints are rolling into the mobility authority saying the paint being too reflective.

“That black paint, especially in the early morning or late afternoon because of the low angle of the sun, can be a little reflective in certain areas of the project and that can be a challenge for some drivers to navigate,” said Steve Pustelnyk, director of community relations for the MoPac Improvement Project.

Pustelnyk says there is no easy lane stripe solution.

“What we’re looking at right now is maybe trying another type of material, what we call a thermal plastic coating that has a duller black finish,” said Pustelnyk. “We may test some of that and see if it’s better than what we have out there now. If it is, we might even extend where we’re using it. But again, it’ll be a trial and error to see if it actually improves the situation or not.”

Until the completed project sports new pavement, new lane stripes and new reflective markers, the Mobility authority urges drivers to watch their speed and pay extra attention.

The cost to recover the black stripes with that different product is built in to project’s $204 million price tag.

The project is a third of the way complete. It’s expected to wrap up in just more than a year.

The original version of this story incorrectly stated TxDOT, instead of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, was responsible for the lane striping and was receiving complaints. We regret the error.

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