After several delays, more than three years, and millions of dollars spent, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is pretty confident the MoPac Improvement Project could be finished by November.
"I don't think its gonna happen," said Bob Mitchell. He's simply stopped believing estimates about when the road will open.
"Every time they've made a prediction of when they're gonna be through with something, it's always taken longer," he added.
This time, work done this previous Saturday and Sunday helped project leaders to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
"We got about four nights of work done in one weekend, so it essentially saved us about one week of work and kept the project moving along," said project spokesperson Steve Pustelnyk. He admits that over the three and a half years, there have been challenges.
"Very high traffic volume, very narrow, tough to work in, a lot of the work had to occur at night," he explained.
And that wasn't all.
Crews ran into much harder limestone below MoPac than anticipated.
They also stumbled onto poorly mapped underground utilities, caves, contractor changes and most recently flood water from Hurricane Harvey that slowed it all down.
It pushed the end date back two years and counting.
Pustelnyk said close to 4,000 drivers use the road's new express lanes every day and are providing great feedback.
He's optimistic that will continue when the work is all said and done, hopefully, by November.
"In the big scheme of things while it is a little behind schedule it really was not as long as you might think," Pustelnyk explained. "Two to three years of construction and that's not unusual for a job of this size. Perhaps if anything we were a little optimistic about how quickly the job could get done."
When construction wraps up, crews won't disappear. It may take another 6 to 9 months to finish up the soundwall and landscaping projects along MoPac.
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