From the desk of John P. Kelly, P.E., MoPac 1 Project
Manager, DMJM Harris

TxDOT and the MoPac 1 project team have been committed to
making public involvement and participation a very high priority. That’s why, in addition to the two open
houses we held last September, we have met with numerous individuals from all
backgrounds and perspectives, as well as many neighborhood groups, community
organizations, and business organizations with various interests in Loop 1
mobility.

This month we will initiate yet another way to facilitate
communication and public interaction with the MoPac 1 project team by holding
the first of several informal MoPac 1-to-One gatherings. As the name implies, these events are
intended to provide direct communication between individual stakeholders and
project team members. By hosting these
gatherings in convenient locations at what we hope will be convenient times, we
are striving to make it easier for you to access the team members to directly
ask questions, share concerns, and offer recommendations. While some of the gatherings may focus on
specific themes or issues, everyone is encouraged to attend and all questions
are welcome.

In order to make attending the MoPac 1-to-ONE meetings easy
and convenient, two meetings will be offered on Wednesday, March 7. A midday session will be held from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Austin
History Center,
810 Guadalupe Street, and
an evening session will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Howson Branch
Library, 2500 Exposition Street.
Since this will follow the Managed Lanes Open House hosted by TxDOT and the
Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the focus of this set of MoPac 1-to-ONE
gatherings will be on how managed lanes might be used to improve mobility on Loop 1.

Additional MoPac 1-to-One meetings will be held in the
future. Please call the MoPac 1 Information Line at 498-7700 with your
suggestions for possible meeting times and locations.
I look forward to seeing you on March 7th!

Save the Dates! MoPac
1 Open Houses scheduled for April 10 and 12

The second set of MoPac 1 open houses will be held on
Tuesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 12. Doors will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., allowing persons to
arrive at their convenience and proceed through the displays at their own
pace. Location information will be
announced soon.

Early public input regarding alternative approaches to
improving mobility in the MoPac 1 project area (from FM 734 (Parmer
  Lane) to the Cesar Chavez
  Street interchange) was obtained at the first set
of MoPac 1 open houses in September 2006. After reviewing and, where feasible, incorporating those comments, the
project team has further developed and refined the spectrum of alternative
approaches. Using the project goals, we
then evaluated each alternative against increasingly specific criteria,
resulting in the identification of a recommended alternative.

The purpose of the open houses is to discuss improving
mobility along the corridor in a safe, efficient, reliable and environmentally
sensitive manner, and to receive input regarding the evaluation of
alternatives. The open houses will provide you with an opportunity to review
and comment on the process used to develop a recommended alternative.

Comments received at this set of open houses will be used to
guide further evaluation and refinement of the alternatives leading up to the
identification of a preferred alternative to be reviewed at a public hearing
sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. Austin District
Sample Noise Barrier Advances Toward Construction TxDOT has scheduled a bid opening before the middle of March
for construction of the Austin District’s
Sample Noise Barrier. Construction of
the sample noise barrier should begin soon thereafter and, weather permitting,
completion is expected this spring/summer. The sample noise barrier will be built on TxDOT property
near the intersection of 45th Street and Bull Creek Roa d to illustrate how noise barriers can reflect the unique
character and identity of the surrounding neighborhood when different surface
finishes and other features are used. It
is important for visitors to remember that the length of the sample noise
barrier is too short to demonstrate noise reduction. Noise barriers for the MoPac 1 project would
be determined in accordance with TxDOT’s federally approved Noise Guidelines,
and if they are found to be reasonable and feasible, specific characteristics
for noise barriers constructed along Loop1 would be
determined through further public involvement.

For more information about the MoPac 1 project or to request
a speaker for your organization or group, please visit our website at
www.MoPac1.org or call the project information line at 512-498-7700.

John P. Kelly