MoPac sound walls put into place as project pushes forward

AUSTIN (KXAN) – As part of the ongoing MoPac Improvement Project, crews are now setting up walls to protect neighbors from the sound of traffic.

Crews working Thursday near Newfield Lane hope to have that section of the wall completed in February. But seven more miles of these walls need to be put up before the project is completed this fall. The walls will run from 6th Street to FM 2222, and another wall near Great Northern Boulevard.

Construction workers are laying foundation and plan to start putting more walls up within the next couple of days. They are being shipped in from Kerrville.

People living in nearby neighborhoods had an opportunity to vote before construction started on whether they wanted the sound wall. The walls will reach up between 8-12 feet high, blocking out the sounds of traffic for those living nearby.

Project managers said recently the project was behind schedule, but they have hired more workers to make up for lost time.

“They have been bringing on a significant number of additional workers and subcontractors in the last couple of months,” said spokesperson Steve Pustelnyk. “I think as people drive MoPac, you really will see that stepped up level of work going on. We are doing everything we can to keep the project moving and getting done as quick as we can.”

While the first wall has just been finished, building it has taken nearly five years. Environmental studies began back in 2010.

Officials planned to build up to 22 walls, depending on whether people who live next to the highway wanted them. Back in 2011, people living near three planned walls turned them down.

Workers poured the foundation for the first wall in July after being slowed by utility conflicts.

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