Concrete zip barriers could speed up Mopac project

Concrete zip barriers on MoPac Expressway (KXAN Photo)
Concrete zip barriers on MoPac Expressway (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is using concrete zip barriers to speed up the Mopac Expressway Project by several months.

The zip barriers are placed right between 35th and 45th streets on northbound Mopac. “[It] allows work to occur on both sides of the road at the same time,” said Steve Pustelnyk with CTRMA. He added that crews are able to remove the guardrail in the median and install new lights along with concrete traffic barriers.

The barriers are moved by a machine which lifts them up and slides the barrier over to close a lane. Once construction is complete on the northbound lanes then the barriers will be used on southbound next.

Friday night crews prepared for more lane and ramp closures.

After 10 p.m.:

  • The entrance ramp to southbound Mopac from Steck Avenue will be closed.
  • The right lane of northbound Mopac will be closed from Steck to US 183.

After midnight:

  • The southbound exit to 35th Street and the southbound entrance ramp from 35th Street will be closed.
  • The center and left lane of northbound Mopac will be closed between Westover Road and 45th Street.

All lanes will reopen by 8 a.m. Saturday morning. CTRMA said the express lanes are averaging just less than 4,000 cars every weekday which is about 27 percent higher than when the lane first opened. Pustelnyk says the average peak hour toll has been 53 cents.

This project is over a year behind schedule. It’s expected to now be complete by the first half of 2017. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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