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Rains force yet another delay in opening northbound Mopac Express Lane

Road crews continue work on northbound Mopac Express Lane. (Photo: CBS Austin)

If you got caught in the traffic Friday as crews scrambled to finish the northbound Mopac Express Lane look for more of the same Saturday and then again Sunday if necessary. Recent rains have set back the project completion date-- again.

The northbound Mopac Express Lane that was scheduled to open Saturday is so close to completion they can taste it. Ray Wilkerson, chair of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority says, “We're ready to turn this over to the public. The public is ready to receive this project. It's time."

Or it WAS time until the rains rolled in. Oh, they're still able to do some work. But the striping of the new pavement can't happen unless the pavement is dry. It won't take that long once they can get started, but the CTRMA says it's pushing back the opening until NEXT Saturday, October 7th. And they say there's a reason for that. Mike Heiligenstein, executive director for CTRMA says, "We prefer as an agency...to open it on a Saturday. We feel that gives some build-up to peak hours during the week."

The delay in completing the northbound express lane doesn't change the deadline for the southbound side. That's still supposed to happen in late October. Heiligenstein stresses, “All new pavement, the final ride surface will need to be in place and available to be open October 27, 2017."

You gotta mention the year when you're talking about a road project that’s two years behind schedule.

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