KXAN (AUSTIN) — On Wednesday, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority held their monthly Board of Directors meeting. The Board passed a few items that would impact some current projects.
The Board authorized a traffic engineering study to be completed by the Center for Transportation Research and the University at Austin. The study will look at how traffic on West Cesar Chavez Street would change once the MoPac South express lanes are installed. The study would also examine how the proposed elevated roadways over Zilker Park would impact traffic congestion.
Once the toll lanes on MoPac North open at the end of the year, vehicles with more than two axles will be prohibited from using the tolled lanes. Emergency vehicles, including tow trucks on their way to an emergency situation will be able to use the toll. Public transit vehicle are exempted from the toll fee. Two more subcontractors, LANE and Jordan Foster, have been hired to help complete construction on MoPac North. Each company is expected to bring at least 100 more workers to the project.
The Board also mentioned the Courtesy Patrol has helped 1,000 drivers since the start of construction on the MoPac Improvement Project. Courtesy Patrol helps stranded drivers who have run out of gas or blew a tire.
Manor Expressway & State Highway 130
The CTRMA and TxDOT are working to set up a meeting to develop a solution to the congestion at the intersection of Manor Expressway and State Highway 130. Traffic traveling from westbound Manor Expressway (Highway 290) to southbound SH 130 has doubled what officials were expecting. The intersection has become very busy and difficult for many drivers to cross three lanes of traffic to reach the Highway 290 on-ramp from the SH 130 exit ramp. The discussion for a $27 million direct connection ramp is an option, but officials feel this would be a high price to pay to resolve back-up that occurs mostly during peak travel times. Some cheaper options are on the table, such as re-striping or extending access lanes.
Only certain stretches of the 183 South Bergstrom Expressway (Highway 290 to State Highway 71) at this time are planned to open in spring 2019, with the full roadway opening in spring 2021.
A decision on moving forward with the toll lanes on 183 North (45N to Mopac) is expected to be made in early 2016.