MoPac toll road costs increase $60 million

Link to article here.

Note: the Original price tag was $136 million, now it’s going up to $197 million because of some ’stubborn’ limestone? That’s hardly a $61 million problem. That’s the trouble with these design-build contracts, the cost always goes up! Change orders, change orders, change orders - it’s how these companies game the system and the taxpayers. End the Regional Mobility Authorities. They exist to WASTE our money and impose unaccountable toll taxes.

MoPac's new toll roads likely to be delayed a few months
By Nick Simonite
Austin Business Journal
Jan 29, 2015

This highway has a habit of slowing anything down in its path — including construction crews. The toll lanes to be added to MoPac Expressway won't be typical. They'll be "managed lanes," meaning that the toll will fluctuate depending on traffic conditions. The heavier the traffic, the bigger the toll.

MoPac Expressway's new toll lanes may be ready at the end of the year rather than in September, the Austin-American Statesman reports.

Contractor problems and tougher-than-expected limestone are partly to blame, according to the report, which states that the 11-mile-long highway makeover still will cost less than the $197 million that the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was granted for the project.

The mobility authority's original contract with Austin-based engineers at CH2M Hill set a date of Sept. 17 this year for the project to be "substantially complete," the Statesman reports, and additional work — mostly cosmetic — was to be done by Jan. 16, 2016.

The contract will be revised with later dates, officials told the paper, to reflect changes in the scope of work required of CH2M Hill, but those dates haven't yet been decided.

Mobility authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein reportedly said Wednesday he expects the toll lanes to open around the end of this year.

CH2M Hill bid $136.6 million for its share of the project. When the toll roads open they won't be traditional. The so-called managed lanes will have prices that fluctuate depending on the traffic. The goal is to keep the lane running at or near highway speeds — even during rush hour.

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