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Tuesday, September 27

Transportation Tuesday: The most congested roads in Texas aren't in San Antonio

We often are asked about congestion levels in San Antonio, and we have some actual data to back up what we say on the topic. In fact, the annual list of most congested roadways compiled by Texas A&M University's Texas Transportation Institute has recently been released and can be seen online. It's a great place to start.

What does it mean for San Antonio? Well, a couple of things.

We've got it REALLY good here
Yes, there are some sticky spots around San Antonio. We're still doing pretty darned good, though. Our average commute times are hovering right around the 25-minute mark, putting us right up there with the traffic woes of Hartford, Connecticut, and of Columbus, Ohio.
The fact is we're nowhere near the worst traffic in the United States, despite being the seventh-largest city in the country - and the largest city without some form of managed lanes on our highway system. The plain truth is that, for a city as big as we are, we've got things pretty darned good.
This doesn't mean things aren't devoid of fun when we have some rain or when a crash occurs - that always gums things up. This means under normal conditions our commute flows pretty darned well.
Statewide, by the way, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth own more than three-fourths of the congested corridors on the list.

Our worst corridor is ... US 281
Photo credit: San Antonio Express-News
The most congested corridor in San Antonio is, officially, US 281 between Lp 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway. It's actually crept into the state-wide top-30, something no segment of roadway in San Antonio has done in more than five years. Sitting at No. 26 overall, those commuting this corridor are seeing peak travel times at 165 percent off-peak hours, leading to about 320,156 total hours of delay each year, per mile.
The good news: we've got a plan for that. We're finalizing plans to expand US 281 with overpasses and continuous frontage roads, and expect to start construction early 2017. We're doing our best to make sure construction delays are minimal, but by 2020 you should see this corridor fall rapidly off our congested corridors list.
Other areas of note across the region are I-35 between Loop 1604 and downtown (three separate segments are on the Top 100 list, ranking at 47, 53 and 66) and I-410 between US 281 and Culebra Road (again, multiple segments are on the list, ranking 72 and 75 overall). Again, we've got current or future projects moving for each of these areas to help.
All told, the San Antonio area owns eight roadway segments on the list - and already have a plan for each area.

We still have room to improve
While things are still pretty darned good, congestion is a growing headache for most of us. Our population is growing at a rate that is far greater than the capacity of our existing infrastructure - we're adding something like 50 cars to our local roads every single day. Seriously.
We're trying to get ahead of this. The Texas Transportation Commission just approved Texas’ largest transportation plan in history, with $70 billion dedicated to addressing congestion, connectivity, preservation and improving safety for drivers over the next 10 years. 
We've also got the Texas Clear Lanes initiative, led by Texas Transportation Commissioner J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. - a local from right here in San Antonio. Not only is that finding some extra funding to deal with the congestion we're seeing, it's also working with local partners to identify where and how to spend the money wisely.

Disclaimer:
The TTI study only looks at TxDOT maintained facilities, which means city and county roads are not measured in the study. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because the traffic volume on state-owned roads is typically much higher than what you'll see on city or county roads. It really shouldn't impact the outcome of the study much, but it's worth mentioning.

Friday, September 23

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Saturday, September 24. 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Fair Oaks Parkway and Ralph Fair Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews repair crash cushions. 
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25. 7 a.m. until 5 a.m. daily. Westbound main lanes between I-37 and Roosevelt Avenue. Traffic will be limited to two lanes while crews do bridge repair work. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound exit ramp to Gevers Road. The ramp will close while crews repair the asphalt base. Traffic will exit Pine Street and turn around to reach its destination. 
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Sunday, September 25. 12:01 a.m. until 5 a.m. Eastbound main lanes between Callaghan Road and I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews inspect the bridges. 
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Thursday-Friday, September 29-30. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes at Alligator Creek. Alternating lanes will close while crews do concrete work. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Saturday, September 24. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Southbound main lanes at George Beach. The right lane will close while crews repair the entrance ramp from George Beach. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound entrance ramp from Walzem Road. The ramp will close while crews work on overhead highway signs. Traffic will use the next available ramp. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Walzem and continue along the frontage road to reach I-410. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. Alternating lanes will close while crews do finish work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. The left lane will close while crews do finish work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews do road work. Traffic will exit George beach, turn around and approach southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. The left lane will close while crews do finish work. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Turnarounds, both directions, at Salado Creek. The turnarounds will close while crews do finish work. Traffic will turn around at the next available intersection. 
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-410 and Broadway. Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. 
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25. 4 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes, upper level, at Brooklyn. All lanes will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will be diverted to the lower level. 
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. The ramp will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks, turn around and return to Randolph Boulevard to reach its destination. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25. 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Eastbound frontage road between Fredericksburg Road and I-10. Alternating lanes will close while crews inspect bridge structures. 
  • Monday, September 26. 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Eastbound frontage road between Fredericksburg Road and the VIA Crossroads station. Alternating lanes will close while crews inspect bridge structures. This closure includes the right lane of the frontage road connector to eastbound I-10 and the VIA Crossroads station. 
US Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Sunday, September 25. 7 a.m. until noon. Eastbound main lanes between Leon Creek and Hwy 151. Alternating lanes will close while crews inspect bridge structures. 
US Hwy 281 – Central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Airport and Josephine. The right two lanes will close while crews do bridge work. Ramps will close as needed. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between I-35 and Mulberry. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work. Ramps will close as needed. 
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Wednesday, September 21-Friday, September 30. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews set bridge deck panels overhead. Southbound traffic will exit Alamo Ranch Parkway, follow the frontage road and continue onto Loop 1604. Northbound traffic will exit Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Loop 1604. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25. 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. Westbound frontage road between I-410 and Potranco. All lanes will close while crews pour bridge decks overhead. Traffic will use Military Drive and Potranco to reach its destination. 
  • Current until December 2016. Westbound exit ramp to Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed. 
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until Saturday, December 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. King Street, both directions, between Cedar Street and US 90. All lanes will close while crews install storm drains and rebuild the road. Traffic will use Hwy 123 as a detour. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 25-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, between Crestway and I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by off-duty police, while crews do overhead bridge deck work. 
Other roads – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. FM 1518, both directions, between FM 78 and I-10. Alternating lanes will close while crews do survey work. 
Other roads – Southeast San Antonio
  • Sunday, October 2. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Loop 13 (Southeast Military Road) between South Presa and Padre Drive. All lanes will close while UPRR crews replank the railroad crossing. Traffic will use South Presa, VFW Boulevard and Roosevelt Ave as a detour. 
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25. 7 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. daily. UTSA Boulevard at Edward Ximines Avenue. The left turn lane will be closed while crews work on a gas line. Traffic will be shifted over with one lane for each direction. 
  • Monday-Friday, September 26-30. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Culebra Road, both directions, at Lp 1604. The left lane will close while crews do median curb work.
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, September 22

North Austin Street - a Seguin project

Last month we started a road expansion project in the city of Seguin. If you're in San Antonio, this project probably won't impact you a ton - which is why you've not heard about it much.

But if you're in Seguin ... well, wow.

It's a $5.3 million projct being done by Curran Contracting - a contractor that's relatively new to the San Antonio region (they're working on UTSA Boulevard in San Antonio). So, what are we doing?

We're widening N. Austin Street (Business 123) between the railroad crossing and I-10 to have a continuous center left-turn lane, shoulders fit for bicycles, sidewalks and a storm drain system. We held public meetings on the project and event sent out direct mailers to those living along the project directly, but we're still getting asked a few questions.
Among the most basic: what will it look like. Well, here you go (click on the image to make it bigger):

Again, we got started last month (August) and will wrap up spring of 2018 - that's just shy of two years of construction here. Closures will be announced to local media or posted right here on the blog. The first portion of the project - installing the storm drains and realigning utilities - is by far the most invasive. Hopefully we'll see the strain on local drivers relax as the project pushes forward.

Occasionally we'll need to cross some driveways. We're committed to maintaining access for folks, so we'll coordinate with business owners or residents these crossings to meet that commitment. If you have any questions during construction, please just let us know!

Monday, September 19

Mail Bag: Hydroplaning issues, future on I-10 and on Loop 1604

Twice, within the last week (earlier this month), I have been told of hydroplaning on 1604 near LaCantera Pkwy and I-10. Both times it was raining lightly or the road was wet. Both times, the drivers were going under 40 mph when they tapped the brake lightly and began fishtailing. I know one incident could have been worn tires. But the second involved pretty new tires. Is this part of the road extra slick when wet?
- Michelle
Thanks for the question, Michelle. Let's start by defining what hydroplaning is and what it's not. A slick road doesn't mean it's causing hydroplaning. For hydroplaning to happen, you'd need excessive standing water and you'd actually be accelerating, not braking.
So it's unlikely you're talking about hydroplaning (or aquaplaning) and more about simple slick roads - a common hazard when roads get wet. When it rains, water mixes with the oils from cars on the roadway and fills some of the tiny cracks in the asphalt, creating a slick situation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says this is at its worst about 5-10 minutes after it rains, or during a very light rain. It's important, then, for drivers to keep in mind during wet weather a huge need to slow down and increase following distance.

Hi! Will the project at I-10 at Old Fredericksburg Rd just be a highway overpass or will there also be a highway exit and entrance ramp at Old Fred?
- Anne
It'll have exits and entrances for Old Fred Rd ... the point here is to offer an additional access point to I-10 for folks out there, relieving pressure on the Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway intersections. Take a look at the schematic here for an idea of what it'll look like when we're done.

The daily commute between Bandera Rd and I-10 (vice versa in the evenings) is often at a complete standstill. Have any of the plans to expand this section of 1604 been funded yet?
- Zane
We know this is an issue. Frankly, added capacity won't help the real problem here - what we need to do is improve the interchange at Loop 1604 and I-10 as well as the westbound ramp to Bandera Road. These are some expensive fixes, though, and we don't have them on our plans for the next couple of years. We do have it on our list, to be sure, and once we get funding (that happens through the MPO) we'll make sure we get something done.

When will West Ave. close for construction? How long will it be closed? What are they doing to the road?
- Michael
West Avenue is a city road and this project is a city project. More information should be available on the city's web site.

This morning (Sept. 2) around 8:15 when I was driving on eastbound I-10 going into San Antonio from Boerne, Exit 543 (Boerne State Rd / Cascade Caverns Rd) had traffic backed up onto the exit ramp and almost onto the interstate. Are there any plans to move the exit ramp further away from the intersection so that this will not occur? I have also seen this same problem happen at the same exit when I have been heading West bound towards Boerne also. This could be an accident waiting to happen.
- Mark
The current project does not address ramp locations. That said, we do have plans to address this issue as we continue to develop I-10 in Kendall County to address the continued growth trends. We don't have a firm timeline on those future projects at the moment, but they will ultimately happen when we've identified funding.

Friday, September 16

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road between Gevers and Hackberry. The left lane will close while crews repair the asphalt base.
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday, September 19. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Westbound frontage road between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard. The left lane will close while crews do repair work.
  • Monday, September 19. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound frontage road between Wurzbach Road and Medical Drive. The left lane will close while crews do repair work.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Sunday-Monday, September 18-19. 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes between FM 306 and the Comal-Hays county line. Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road.
  • Monday-Tuesday, September 19-20. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes at York Creek. The right lane will close while crews do bridge work.
  • Thursday-Friday, September 22-23. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes at Alligator Creek. Alternating lanes will close while crews do concrete work.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Sunday, September 18 at 9 p.m. until Monday, October 31 at 5 a.m. North-to-south turnaround at Rittiman Road. The turnaround will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will turn around at the intersection.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound entrance ramp from Walzem Road. The ramp will close while crews work on overhead highway signs. Traffic will use the next available ramp.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Walzem and continue along the frontage road to reach I-410.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. Alternating lanes will close while crews do finish work.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. The left lane will close while crews do finish work.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews do road work. Traffic will exit George beach, turn around and approach southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35.
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, between Rittiman and Walzem roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. The left lane will close while crews do finish work.
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Turnarounds, both directions, at Salado Creek. The turnarounds will close while crews do finish work. Traffic will turn around at the next available intersection.
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Saturday, September 17. 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Northbound main lanes, upper level, at Brooklyn. All lanes will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will be diverted to the lower level.
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. The ramp will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks, turn around and return to Randolph Boulevard to reach its destination.
US Hwy 281 – Central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Wednesday, September 18-21. Southbound main lanes at Sunset Boulevard. All lanes will close while crews resurface the road. Traffic will exit Sunset Boulevard and re-enter after Airport Boulevard.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Airport and Josephine. The right two lanes will close while crews do bridge work. Ramps will close as needed.
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The right two lanes will close while crews work on guardrail. Ramps will close as needed.
  • Monday-Friday, September 18-23. 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between I-35 and Mulberry. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work. Ramps will close as needed.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Friday-Saturday, September 16-17. 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. Southbound frontage road at Alamo Ranch Parkway. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams overhead. Traffic will turn right onto Alamo Ranch Parkway, turn around at Westwood Loop, and re-enter the southbound frontage road from Alamo Ranch Parkway. Off-duty police will help facilitate the flow of traffic during this closure.
  • Sunday-Monday, September 18-19. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Southbound frontage road at Alamo Ranch Parkway. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams overhead. Traffic will turn right onto Alamo Ranch Parkway, turn around and return to the frontage road via Alamo Ranch Parkway to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Tuesday, September 19-20. 9 .m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road at Alamo Ranch Parkway. The left lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound connector to eastbound Hwy 151. The connector will close while crews paint the bridge. Traffic will continue south to Wiseman, turn around and enter eastbound Hwy 151 from northbound Loop 1604.
  • Wednesday, September 21-Friday, September 30. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews set bridge deck panels overhead. Southbound traffic will exit Alamo Ranch Parkway, follow the frontage road and continue onto Loop 1604. Northbound traffic will exit Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Loop 1604.
Hwy 151 – West San Antonio
  • Saturday, September 17. 3 a.m. until 9 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Military Drive and Ingram Road. The left lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Current until Friday, September 23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road between I-410 and Potranco Road. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will use Military Drive or Richland Hills to reach Potranco Road and local businesses.
  • Current until December 2016. Westbound exit ramp to Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed.
Other roads – Elmendorf
  • Thursday, September 22. 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. FM 327, both directions, at the Union Pacific Rail Road crossing. All lanes will close while UPRR crews replank the railroad crossing. Traffic will use Loop 1604 as a detour route.
Other roads – Seguin
  • Friday, September 16 at 8 p.m. until Monday, September 19 at 5 a.m.  Austin Street, both directions, between the UPRR crossing and Seidemann Street. All lanes will close while crews do utility work. Traffic will use the Hwy 123 bypass as a detour.
  • Thursday, September 22 until Saturday, December 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. King Street, both directions, between Cedar Street and US 90. All lanes will close while crews install storm drains and rebuild the road. Traffic will use Hwy 123 as a detour.
Other roads – Boerne
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly. River Road, both directions, between Main Street and Esser Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. Flaggers will control traffic as needed.
Other roads – North San Antonio                                   
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound Wurzbach Parkway between Blanco Road and Northwest Military. The left lane will close while crews work on the concrete median barrier.
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, September 18-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, between Crestway and I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by off-duty police, while crews do overhead bridge deck work.
Other roads – Southeast San Antonio
  • Sunday, October 2. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Loop 13 (Southeast Military Road) between South Presa and Padre Drive. All lanes will close while UPRR crews replank the railroad crossing. Traffic will use South Presa, VFW Boulevard and Roosevelt Ave as a detour.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, September 19-23. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Eastbound Culebra Road at Loop 1604. The center lane will close while crews work on the concrete median.
All closures are pending weather.

Braun Rd at Lp 1604

Now that we've gotten the overpasses on Lp 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads finished up, we're seeing the little quirks of what's been left as a final product.

Braun Road has had it's own saga of needed improvements and driver frustrations, and we've recently been made aware of an issue that's entirely new to us. Frankly, we hadn't quite thought of the issue. Because of that, we thank those who reached out to bring it to our attention.

Pavement markings like these
should solve the issue.
The problem area is westbound Braun Road approaching Lp 1604. That's the folks coming from the Great Northwest (most of whom are cutting the corner from Bandera Road) and heading to Helotes or the subdivisions along Braun Road outside Loop 1604. At this spot, we've got two lanes of traffic that flows into three lanes at Loop 1604, which then whittles back down to two lanes outside Lp 1604. The inverted hourglass shape (we made that up just now) causes some to wonder: Who gets that middle lane?

Some have expressed concern the lanes aren't aligned the way they were before that new overpass was built. The difference amounts to about two feet, but the alignment is actually about the same. To the overwhelming majority there's no perceivable difference. However, we do lack the "puppy tracks" that were once used to direct traffic into appropriate lanes.

Anyway, in that spirit, check out this brief slide show on what's been out there and what we're doing about it:

Striping crews will be in to lay down the puppy tracks next week.

Wednesday, September 14

One more along I-10 set to start: Fair Oaks Pkwy bridge

We met earlier this week with the contractor that will expand the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge, RELMCo Incorporated, to discuss the $7.6 million project that will take about 18 months to finish. Crews will be on site and working October 3.


When finished (spring 2018) the new bridge will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction and be realigned to join Fair Oaks Parkway to Tarpon Drive. The old bridge will be reconstructed to serve as a west-to-east turnaround, facilitating the one-way frontage road conversion now underway between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway. Oh, and we'll have traffic signals at this intersection (replacing the stop signs existing today).

Because we'll be reconstructing a bridge, we have a lot of overhead work that will require closing both I-10 and the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge. We want to set the expectation now: we expect about 10 full closures of I-10 during the duration of this project. These will typically be limited to nights and weekends. The demolition work will require long nights, meaning we'll start early on a Friday and be cleaned up Saturday. The beam setting will require weekend closures due to trucking restrictions (trucks are not able to move the beams overnight).

When those closures happen we'll let you know right here, and provide some input on how to avoid the traffic associated with them.

This project carries stiff milestones that feature disincentives (kind of like penalties, but not actually penalties) ranging between $3,000 per day and $12,000 per day. These are intended to keep the project moving at a quick pace and minimize delays.

Not really ... many of us are right there,
elbow-to-elbow with you in the traffic snarl.
This adds one more construction project to the already busy Leon Springs-Fair Oaks Ranch area. We already have work on the frontage roads around Boerne Stage Road and an active project between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway. We hear often we ought to wait for one project to finish before another begins, but in order for what we're doing (or trying to do) to work we need all these items to be finished. These projects may be separate, but they are incredibly interconnected.

We also are very aware of the additional strain that will no doubt come as folks from both Leon Springs and Fair Oaks Ranch look to reach I-10. Traffic is pinched as it is - particularly due to the limited access points for these regions. The good news: when we're done with the work on I-10 at Old Fredericksburg Road we'll have a third access point opened up. Also, we should have a much better flow of traffic on these arterial feeders. In the interim we will remain vigilant in facilitating traffic flow the very best we can and make changes to the way things are done our there as they become necessary.

That said, here's fair warning: we're not done. We have an expansion project slated for the I-10 main lanes coming in about a year and a half. That will impact traffic between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway.
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