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Expressway News

November 7, 2019

In this Issue: 
New Chairman | MoPac South | 183 South


At the September Board Meeting, the Mobility Authority welcomed our newly appointed Chairman, Robert “Bobby” Jenkins, Jr. Appointed in July by Governor Abbott, Jenkins was sworn in on September 11 and will serve a term set to expire in February 2021.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the residents of Central Texas in this new role,” said Jenkins. “Mobility is a critical component of our region’s quality of life, and I look forward to building on the agency’s efforts to move more people and goods as efficiently as possibly throughout our growing region.”
Jenkins replaces former Mobility Authority Chairman Ray A. Wilkerson, who resigned in May 2019 after 10 years of service to the region, following the end of the legislative session.
“There is nobody better suited for Ray to pass the torch onto than Bobby,” said Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director for the Mobility Authority. “Bobby is an exemplary business leader and public servant. He brings a seasoned, customer-centered approach, and I look forward to his leadership.”
Community service is ingrained in the life and business of Bobby Jenkins. A longtime resident of the Austin area, he has participated widely in various local community organizations. He is the President and Owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services, which employs more than 700 people in the Central Texas area. He is former chairman and a current member of the Better Business Bureau and the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and he serves on the executive committee of the Texas Business Leadership Council. He actively participates in his community as a board member of the Texas Higher Education Foundation, United Way of Greater Austin, Alzheimer’s Texas, and the American Heart Association. His prior gubernatorial appointments include chairing the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
On behalf of staff, we welcome Chairman Jenkins to the Mobility Authority.


This summer, the Mobility Authority received the green light from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to resume efforts on the MoPac South Environmental Study. Launched in 2013, the study is being implemented to analyze the congested MoPac corridor south of Cesar Chavez Street and determine the best approach to managing congestion.
In 2016, the environmental study was put on hold due to a lawsuit and to allow transportation agencies time to determine the best approach to funding transportation needs in the state. The indefinite project hold was instituted before a Recommended Preferred Alternative could be selected and carried forward. Now, as efforts resume, the project team is carrying forward the work completed and decisions made between 2013 and 2016 to bring us closer to achieving greater mobility along the corridor.
Did you know? If we do nothing to address congestion, drivers could spend an additional 35 minutes traveling the corridor by 2035.

Environmental Study Purpose and Need
Project Purpose: What are we trying to do?

  • Provide reliable travel times
  • Create a dependable route for transit
  • Facilitate reliable emergency response
Project Need: What problems are we trying to address?
  • Current and forecasted congestion levels are creating unreliable travel times
  • Forecasted population, traffic, and employment growth are increasing congestion and travel delays
  • Emergency response times are impacted by traffic congestion

Status of the Environmental Study
The study has identified and thoroughly evaluated a full range of alternatives  for improving the MoPac corridor from Cesar Chavez Street to Slaughter Lane, including adding general-purpose lane(s), adding high occupancy vehicle lane(s), adding transit only lane(s), adding express lane(s) and transportation demand management. Analysis determined that the Express Lane(s) Alternative best meets the purpose and need of the project, and is being carried forward as the Recommended Build Alternative alongside the “No Build,” or “do nothing” Alternative.

About the Express Lanes Alternative
The Express Lane(s) Alternative would include either one or two express lanes in each direction along the 8-mile corridor.  The Project team is working to identify the best operational configuration option, or ramp configuration, for the Express Lane(s) Alternative. A total of six potential ramp configuration options are under consideration, and each are being evaluated against a set of criteria below and modeled using CAMPO’s 2035 travel demand model. The option with the greatest overall score will be carried forward as the Recommended Preferred Alternative and shared with the public at an open house in early 2020.

Public Engagement History
The Mobility Authority goes above and beyond the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it comes to community engagement. We solicit, receive and incorporate community input throughout the entire process. Click here for a snapshot of the engagement efforts we have implemented to date, compared to what is required by NEPA.

Next Steps
The Recommended Preferred Alternative will be identified and presented to the community at an open house in early 2020 for public review and comment. A public hearing will follow in mid-2021, and an environmental finding is anticipated in late 2021.

Get Involved and Stay Informed
The Mobility Authority values public input and invites you to become engaged in the project and help shape the future of mobility in our region.

  • Sign up for the MoPac South Environmental Study email list.
  • Visit the MoPac South Environmental Study website
  • Follow the MoPac South Environmental Study on Twitter.


Drivers on the US 183 corridor are beginning to see some relief. The 183 Toll Road between US 290 and Techni Center Drive opened on August 1, 2019, allowing drivers to bypass the traffic signals for a more reliable commute. During the first month of operations, drivers with an active electronic tag were able to drive the tolled portion of the roadway toll-free. About 42 percent of drivers took advantage of the toll-free period. 987,000 transactions were recorded during the first month, which was more than 75% above projections, showing just how strong demand is for a greater commuting reliability.

You Have Options 
When you drive on the 183 Toll Road, or any other Mobility Authority toll road, you have several options for how to pay your bill. Electronic tags remain the simplest, most cost-effective way to pay, and save you 33 percent over Pay By Mail rates. Learn more about the different tags accepted here.
Drivers who prefer not to get a tag can pay their bill online, by mail, in person, or by phone. We recently expanded our customer services and added in person cash payment options to provide even greater flexibility for the many ways and times we know our customers like to pay. To find the in-person cash payment location nearest you, visit:

Received a Toll Bill? Pay in Person locations are closer than you think.
View more information on our website.

Out in the Community 
Our community outreach team stays busy in the community. In addition to keeping our neighbors updated on construction impacts, we host block parties and community festivals as our way of thanking residents for being patient during construction. Last month, we hosted a block party at Eastside Memorial High School for the Johnston Terrace neighborhood, a fall festival at the Austin Animal Center’s pet adoption day, and sponsored food and fun for National Night Out events at the Senate Hills and Montopolis neighborhoods. Thank you to our neighbors and partners!

Looking Ahead 
With Phase I, or the North End, of the 183 South Project complete and open to traffic, crews are working round the clock towards the south end of the corridor to reach full project completion in late 2020. Traffic will be shifted to the brand-new general-purpose lanes between MLK Boulevard and Boggy Creek later this fall, and rehabilitation efforts for the Montopolis Steel Truss Bridge are underway. When the project is complete, the truss bridge will carry bicycle and pedestrian traffic across the Colorado River, linking up with other area trails.
Stay Informed 
Sign up for the 183 South Project newsletter and stay up to date on construction impacts, corridor news, and more. You can also follow us on Twitter or contact us via the 24/7 project hotline with your questions about construction: 512-640-0060. 

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