When it comes to the MoPac Improvement Project, I feel like we are experiencing the calm before the storm. There’s been some activity in the form of survey crews, drilling rigs and nighttime lane closures. There have been a few news articles and neighborhood events, but it’s still sunny and everything feels normal. Yet, behind the scenes dozens of people are hard at work gearing up for construction to begin and when it does life along MoPac is going to change. Ultimately we’ll have new Express Lanes and greater mobility on MoPac, plus less roadway noise thanks to sound walls. But, in the meantime construction looms.
The biggest hint that something is brewing came this week when we held a ceremonial groundbreaking. Soon signs will be going up in the corridor notifying drivers about the project, and neighborhood residents will be getting MoPac Man postcards in the mail with a magnet to help remind them how to get in touch with us if they need to. A high-profile newspaper advertisement is also coming in the next few days. The goal is to make sure as many people as possible know what to expect before the first bulldozer rolls into the corridor.
Right now the next big event on our agenda will be a “Meet the Contractor Open House” on November 12 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at O. Henry Middle School. Our expert construction team will be on hand that night with a lot of displays; ready to answer questions about how the project may impact nearby homeowners, businesses and drivers who travel the corridor.
If you can’t make the Open House, we always welcome visitors to our project office at 1901 West Braker Lane, Building D, Suite 200. We are just east of Metric Drive and across from the Post Office. Plus, we now have a project hotline at 512-270-5000. Call us anytime day or night and someone will be there to take your call. If it’s an emergency we’ll respond immediately. If it’s a simple question and it’s the middle of the night, we’ll get back to you the next morning.
We also have our web site, smart phone application, MoPac Radio at 800 am, a Twitter feed, email alerts, text alerts and Facebook page, all designed to keep you up to date on the project. This is important because as I said at the outset, a storm is brewing. By November we will see an increasing number of people working in the corridor and by the second week of December full-blown construction will be underway between RM 2222 and US 183. That means drivers will soon be experiencing lane changes, construction barriers and night-time lane closures. Through it all we’ll be doing everything we can to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible.
Nearby residents may experience nighttime construction work including bright lights and increased noise. We’ll try to minimize the impacts, but I don’t want to sugarcoat things. At times during the project things could get unpleasant. That’s why I’ve saved up a lot of vacation time. Just kidding! I’ll be there throughout trying to do what I can to ease the pain and expedite the project. The storm is scheduled to pass in less than two years, which on geologic highway construction time is just the blink of an eye. So I beg you to keep that in mind as we embark on this incredible journey together. And remember, A Better MoPac is just around the corner!