A worker removes barrels on northbound MoPac between 2222 and Far West Boulevard Saturday October 15, 2016, to open the first portion of the MoPac Express toll lane. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If you’re one of the thousands of drivers who use MoPac every day, I hope you’ve noticed the difference north of Lady Bird Lake.

Such as an additional express lane giving commuters a choice for a more reliable means of getting to points between Parmer Lane and Cesar Chavez. A lane where CapMetro transit riders can travel in the express lane without paying a toll. Or the improved pavement, offering a smoother ride, noise mitigation and better water quality. And, as important, the improved travel times in the general purpose lanes.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) recently completed the new express lane and improved MoPac in a number of ways, and it’s now open for your use. We know we have landscaping and sound wall work left to do, but our priority after the long period of delay was to drive the contractor to completion.

Thank you for your patience and your tolerance during the construction. It’s been painful, I know, but the benefits to the commuter and this community are many and long lasting. MoPac has seen its last major overhaul.

The MoPac Improvement Project has maintained a high profile, for good reason. MoPac is a vital artery that connects Central Texans to Austin and points beyond. More than 180,000 cars and trucks drive on MoPac each day. The number will only increase.

Throughout construction, MoPac remained open to traffic.

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