Milling of old asphalt to blame for loose gravel on North MoPac

Grooved lanes not feeling so groovy?

Drivers say loose gravel needs to be better swept. (Martinez/KXAN)
Drivers say loose gravel needs to be better swept. (Martinez/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even as the finish line for the MoPac Improvement Project is in sight, drivers will have to temporarily deal with some asphalt changes.

KXAN recently received a Report It from a viewer worried about the loose rock and gravel on the southbound lanes of North MoPac. The concerned viewer says the gravel damaged her vehicle.

Construction crews are currently in the process of milling the old asphalt off sections of North MoPac in preparation for final paving. Mopac Improvement Project spokesperson, Steve Pustelnyk, says the contractor is supposed to clean the road each morning to remove the milled material, but the process cannot completely remove every piece of gravel and rock.

While it is a nuisance for some drivers, Norman Newsome of Mobile Glass windshield repair says it’s kept business up. “Definitely in the last few months we’ve heard a lot more [customers saying] ‘well I was driving on MoPac,'” says Newsome.

“We do have an oversight team that goes around and verifies and reports back to the contractor if they observe that the contract is not being followed,” explains Pustelnyk of the clean-up process.

Now through the end of summer, crews will be busy doing paving work in both directions on MoPac between Ranch to Market 2222 and Cesar Chavez Street. While driving on the grooved pavement isn’t a safety hazard, it is a good reminder for drivers to not follow big vehicles and trucks too closely since they have a tendency to kick up more debris.

“Mud flaps. if they don’t have mud flaps I use extra distance,” says Newsome.

Paving of the southbound lanes between RM 2222 and US 183 begins Thursday night.

The rest of the express lanes are expected to open in September, with overall construction completed in 2018—two years behind the original delivery date.

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