MoPac

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The MoPac express lanes opened in 2017, years behind schedule, to offer a faster option for drivers willing to pay a toll. But what if you pay and the lane is no faster – or even slower – than the main lanes? 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Bobak Tehrany and I meet in the parking garage at the Chase Building downtown. He works with the engineering consulting company Stantec, whose clients include the Texas Department of Transportation. It’s been a long day, and he’s ready to make the commute home.

“You know, it’s funny because you hear people calling it SlowPac all the time,” he says.

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT

Most of us ride up and down highways without giving them a second thought. But there seems to be something different about MoPac. The glorified parking lot known, at least officially, as Loop 1 has given many a driver plenty of time to ponder its quirks while stuck in traffic.

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

The first stretch of a toll lane project on MoPac opens Saturday more than a year behind schedule. The northbound, north end segment of the MoPac Express Lane will open from about 2222 to a mile before Parmer Lane. Tolls start at 25 cents and as traffic volume goes up, so will the tolls, with the goal of keeping that one lane flowing at a minimum speed of 45 miles per hour.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon for KUT News

The new sound walls along MoPac are designed to reduce traffic noise from the highway going into surrounding neighborhoods, but some wonder if the new construction could become a target for vandals.


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