AUSTIN (KXAN) - Get ready for some big changes on MoPac through Central Austin.
A groundbreaking was Friday for the two-year construction project that will build an express lane running in each direction will get underway (see video animation of what it will look like).
The $200 million project will create an express lane running both north and southbound between Cesar Chavez and Parmer Lane.
So what can commuters expect while this big construction project is underway? Possibly extra delays.
In order to get the lanes built, there will be closures everyday between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
While those lane closures won't impact commuters there could be additional backups.
"Because there will be lane shifts, restriping, barrier walls, construction work going on in the corridor we would anticipate some additional delays because of the construction," said Steve Pustelnyk, director of community relations Mopac Improvement Project.
That portion of the work will begin in December. At the same time seven miles of sound walls will go up along the road.
When the project is finished in the fall of 2015 drivers will be able to access and exit the express lane at three points; Cesar Chavez, Ranch Road 2222, and Parmer Lane.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority said the roadway was designed that way in an effort to keep traffic moving. That's also why the tolls will fluctuate in price.
"That toll can go up when traffic is really heavy and goes down when traffic is really light that way you make sure the lane doesn't become congested," said Pustelnyk.
Toll prices will start at about 50 cents for the entire length but could reach two or three dollars depending on the amount of traffic.
"It's not really the type of lane you would expect to use everyday. It doesn't have the capacity, it is a specialty lane for things like buses and vanpools and then there is room left for everyone else," said Pustelnyk.
Buses and vanpools will travel in the lane for free.
The goal with the fluctuated price structure is to encourage commuters to take public transportation since it will not have to sit in the backups along MoPac.
The total cost for the project was provided by a federal grant. Tolls will pay for it and go into a regional infrastructure fund.
CAMPO will allocate those funds for future road improvement projects.
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