Last week select agents had the opportunity to hear directly from Steve Pustelynk, director of communications for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Offering an informative presentation, those in attendance heard a bit on the history of tolling, the current state of commuting in Central Texas and future highway expansions.
Truth be told, Steve has his work cut out for him with future hot-topic projects including the expansion of the Capital of Texas Highway and the Oakhill fly-over.
For now, let’s focus on the Mopac Expansion. To me, the most exciting and likely the most important highway expansion on the horizon, the plans are both innovative and aggressive.
Imagine, from Parmer to Cesar Chavez, with four lanes. The catch is the fourth lane is a variable pricing toll lane for those in need of and/or willing to pay the current rate of that toll. Entrances and exits are at the aforementioned Parmer & Cesar Chavez as well as the usual break in rush hour traffic at 2222. Though the lanes south of 2222 will shrink a bit, the obvious alternative to grabbing resident land, the lanes north of 2222 will remain their current width.
The construction period is not one to fear. With the bulk of the highway work to be completed between the 9pm and 5 am, local commuters should see few interruptions from beginning to end.
For a sneak-peak at what’s in store for Austin commuters, check this video out!
Kudos to Steve and team for a plan that I think most will easily get behind. Here’s to meeting that end of year 2015 goal for the Mopac expansion!