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Thursday, February 28

If you're in Uvalde....

Come see us as we talk about the upgrades we're doing to state Highway 55 - Antonio Street, if you're a local - beginning later this year.


Mostly, we're adding a center left-turn lane as well as curbs and sidewalks. We're looking forward to the way this will look when we're done - something along these lines:


We'll be in the Cactus Room at the Uvalde Civic Center between 4 and 6:30 p.m. The gathering is an informal, open-house format. Simply stop by and see what we've got going on!

Wurzbach Parkway's progress....

Another edition of the Parkway Progress is available online now. So, if you're curious as to what's happening out there, check it out!

Spoiler alert: the headline story regarding the closure on U.S. Highway 281 has already happened (last night). Also, none of the work around West Avenue is associated with the segments of parkway that have gone dormant since Ballenger Construction filed for bankruptcy. I get asked about that often ... all the work around West Avenue is either directly associated with the West Avenue overpass (being built by Williams Brothers Construction). There's also some work being done by a private developer building a new apartment complex north of the parkway on West Avenue.

At any rate, check out the newsletter!

Wednesday, February 27

Road closures to be aware of!


First of all, crews will shut down all main lanes of south-bound U.S. Highway 281 at Bitters Road tonight, beginning about 10 p.m. and lasting until 5 a.m. In order to get through, you'll need to exit Bitters and, after moving through the traffic signal, you'll be able to re-enter the highway.

In Boerne, demolition work on the Main Street bridge over Cibolo Creek associated with a project to widen the bridge will cause crews to close alternating lanes of the bridge Thursday night.


TxDOT is widening the Main Street bridge over Cibolo Creek in Boerne.


Crews will set up closures at 9 p.m. as bridge crews prepare to take apart the old rail to make way for the added width. Only alternating lanes will be closed – through traffic will continue as the work is being completed. Drivers should be aware of the changing traffic patterns expected through the night.

TxDOT anticipates the roadway will be restored to its normal construction-zone traffic patterns in time for Friday’s morning commute.

For more information on the total project in Boerne - which includes upgrades to traffic signals along the Hill Country Mile - please visit the official TxDOT project page. Get more information on the Wurzbach Parkway project here.

Monday, February 25

Antonio Street project workshop planned (Uvalde)



The Texas Department of Transportation will hold an open-house workshop Thursday night between 4 and 6:30 p.m. at Willie DeLeon Civic Center detailing improvements to Antonio Street set to be constructed later this year.



The orange highlighted area marks the area to be worked on beginning this fall. TxDOT is widening the roadway to accomodate a center left-turn lane and is adding curbs and sidewalks.

The mile-and-a-half of state Highway 55 on the north side of Uvalde will be widened to include a center left-turn lane and will get curbs and sidewalks. Driveways along the route will be defined by the construction and storm drain features will be added to improve drainage. The work will take about a year to accomplish once a contractor is selected and work begins – all scheduled for later this summer.


This cross-section view shows an example of what TxDOT proposes to do on Antonio Street in Uvalde.

The open house will be an informal gathering with several stations set up for residents of the area and other interested parties to get information on the project. Doors to the event, held at the DeLeon Civic Center Cactus Room, will open at 4 p.m. and TxDOT representatives will wrap up at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 20

Rural Roundup - non-urban highway projects

Later this evening we'll be holding a brief meeting with the folks in Ingram to talk about what's been happening on the Hwy 39 Ingram project, and it seemed like a good enough time to run down the other projects outside "the Loop" (Loop 1604) and not on I-35. So ... here you go (enjoy!):

Hwy 39 Ingram
Since we'll be talking about it tonight, we'll start with the Hwy 39 Ingram project. This is a project the contractor expected to have moving in January, working primarily near the Johnson Creek bridge. However, we are being told by the contractor (Relmco, Inc., of Hondo) they are still working on allocating appropriate resources to begin work. When work does begin, the work will be focused near Johnson Creek and beyond the travel lanes - at least at first. After bridge-widening work at Johnson Creek has finished, crews will move in to other areas of the project.

For now, though, we're working with the contractor to begin the work as soon as possible.

Main Street Boerne
Over the last week or so, bridge crews have been working on shoring up (so to speak) a stable work environment in the Cibolo Creek. A pad for a drill rig has been set up, and drilling for support columns that will hold up widened segments of the bridge will begin next week.

The other half of the Main Street project - an effort to upgrade more than a half-dozen intersections in the historic Boerne downtown - just started moving. Over the next week those crews will finish laying out project areas and begin preparing for work on the crosswalk.

U.S. 281 Comal
Last week Hunter Industries, the contractor expanding U.S. 281 to a four-lane divided highway, began clearing and preparing the right-of-way at various locations. We anticipate crews to begin placing some drain structures south-bound from the Blanco County line. Crews haven't really started turning dirt as yet, but folks might see some utility crews out there moving some lines that are still in the way.

FM 306
Last week crews had a very small window to work on removing a few necessary trees between I-35 and Hunter Road, hoping to reduce the possibility of running onto migratory bird nests that can complicate construction over the summer months.

Like with the Boerne job, there's actually two projects going on in this corridor. The biggest - expanding FM 306 between I-35 and Hunter Road while constructing overpasses to bridge the road over rail road tracks - still hasn't officially started. However, the work on passing lanes and turn lanes near Canyon Lake has been underway for nearly two months.

Over the last week, Hunter Industries (working on the U.S. 281 Comal project as well as both FM 306 jobs) continued working on the east-bound passing lanes near Purgatory Road. They hope to be ready for asphalt - depending on weather (they need warm weather for asphalt) - on the first completed section as early as next week.

Meanwhile, a subcontractor will continue building drain structures and driveways that would have been displaced by the new roadway.

Business 46
Work has progressed cautiously because of the number of utilities in the area - we don't want to break anything, after all - but we've been clearing area and started drilling drill support shafts. This will support the new retaining walls on either side of the expanded Business 46 in downtown New Braunfels.

Crews from Austin Bridge and Road will continue to work on these drill shafts - the priority on the project for now - for the next few weeks. Nothing we do should heavily impact the driving lanes until after Labor Day.

There you have it - a "rural roundup", of sorts. Perhaps that's what we should start calling this regular post ... "Rural Roundup".

With that, we'll wrap up this post while I change the title....

Monday, February 18

Credit where credit is due

Over the weekend we had a short chunk of the north-bound U.S. Hwy 281 frontage road shut down approaching Bitters Road near the airport.

The closure detoured traffic off the frontage road and on to side streets, no doubt causing a few minor hassles for local commuters. The closure was set for the entire weekend.

The work being done was simple enough, but it's known for being time-consuming. Laying massive drain structures requires a process of digging a huge trench, setting by crane large concrete boxes, sealing the boxes in place with concrete and rock, burying the structures and sealing it all up with asphalt.

The tricky part is letting some of the structures cure and strengthen, which can take days to accomplish.

Here's where the credit is offered: the underground utility subcontractor working on this drain structure, I D Guerra, Lp., of Austin, got the drain structure put in place and had the frontage road reopened late Saturday night.

That's just 24 hours after shutting the frontage road down - simply amazing.

The drain structures are firmly in place now; the roadway has since been sealed up. More work in the area remains, but this major chore was finished nearly before it started.

Today I invite you to join me in thanking I D Guerra, and road-building crews like theirs - who work so hard to build and maintain and improve our roads, often completing work that'd be in the way of our traveling lanes well ahead of schedule.

Thanks, road builders. We appreciate you!

Friday, February 15

The I-35 Selma project....

Since the north-bound exit to Forum Parkway on I-35 closed a couple weeks ago, I've fielded a variety of calls and emails regarding the posted detour route.

Most of the questions question the efficiency of our route through Olympia Parkway. Rather than continue to offer the same response over and over and over, I'll let everyone know the reasons behind our current detour routes.

The biggest concern expressed is the frustration over needing to take the Olympia Parkway exit, then drive all the way to Olympia Parkway and wait at the traffic signal before continuing into The Forum shopping center. Instead, I've heard several suggest taking Agora Parkway immediately after exiting at Olympia Parkway.

DO NOT DO THIS.

Remember our top priority at TxDOT is safety. Moving from the main lanes of I-35 (where traffic is moving at 70 miles per hour) onto a frontage road (45 miles per hour), then moving over two full lanes of roadway while slowing down to a safe turning speed in less than a tenth of a mile is simply dangerous. Maneuvers like this are likely to contribute to collisions, and we're trying to avoid that. Instead, shoot for Olympia Parkway. That offers you enough room to comfortably slow and turn off the frontage road.

Besides, our detour isn't intended to get you (specifically) to The Forum anyway. Our intent is getting folks to Forum Parkway - letting traffic out directly where the closure ends.

But if you are using north-bound I-35 to reach The Forum, our recommendation is to actually use the Pat Booker Road exit. Pat Booker Road intersects with Loop 1604, where you can take the west-bound access road into The Forum. Having driven them both, this detour seems to be the more efficient option for shoppers heading to The Forum.

Enough on that. Let's talk construction....

As I just said, we've now had the north-bound exit ramp to Forum Parkway shut down for more than two weeks. We've gotten our barriers set up and have started some excavation since that happened, and over the next few weeks we'll be focusing on constructing some storm drain structures and continuing to excavate the work area.

On the other end - at FM 3009 - we're installing storm sewer drain pipes and preparing to work on the bridge support columns and caps. Hopefully we'll get after the columns and caps sometime in the next week or two.

As for the work between FM 1518 and Schertz Parkway ... we're progressing. We're still targeting the spring to have those entrance and exit ramps re-opened.

That's it - that's what's going on. If you have any questions regarding the project, comment below!

Wednesday, February 13

Progress on the Parkway....

The latest news on Wurzbach Parkway is available online! Check out all the details of what's happening on San Antonio's developing east-west corridor.

The biggest news - something everyone should know - revolves around the closure of the north-bound frontage road of U.S. Highway 281 about a quarter mile before Bitters Road. Details on the closure and the detour route are front-page of the newsletter.

Friday, February 8

Expected lane closures

Over the next week, we expect the following lane closures due to road construction:

Interstate 10
Saturday-Sunday, February 9-10
7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily
I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
Various lanes and shoulders will be closed in both directions while crews install guardrail and clean up the work area. Expect delays.

Sunday-Friday, February 10-15
9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
East-bound I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews install guard rail. Expect delays.

Interstate 35
Sunday-Friday, February 10-15
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
I-35 at Farm to Market 3009
The left lane in both directions will be closed while crews begin work to rebuild the center median to accommodate the FM 3009 turnaround bridges. Expect delays.

Interstate 37
No lane closures scheduled.

Interstate 410
Monday-Friday, February 11-15
8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily
I-410 between I-37 and Highway 16
Alternating lanes in both directions will close as crews repair bridge joints and stripe the roadway. Expect delays.

Loop 1604
No lane closures scheduled.

U.S. Highway 90
No lane closures scheduled.

U.S. Highway 281
Saturday, February 9
6 a.m. until noon
North-bound frontage road of U.S. Hwy 281 between Arion Parkway and Heimer Road
The two right lanes will be closed while crews set barrier to form a safe work zone for future work. Expect delays.

Wednesday-Saturday, February 13-15
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
North-bound frontage road of U.S. Hwy 281 between Arion Parkway and Heimer Road
The right two lanes will be closed while crews build drain culvert structures associated with the Wurzbach Parkway project. Expect delays.

Friday-Monday, February 15-18
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. continuous
North-bound frontage road of U.S. Hwy 281 between Arion Parkway and Heimer Road
All lanes will close while crews build drain culvert structures associated with the Wurzbach Parkway project. North-bound traffic may reach Bitters Road by using Country Parkway and Heimer Road. The Nakoma entrance ramp will remain open. Expect long delays.

Farm-to-Market roads
No lane closures scheduled.

All planned lane closures are pending weather. Road conditions and traffic updates available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot and Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdotsanantonio
.

Wednesday, February 6

Parkway Progress

It's time, again, for a look at the progress along the Wurzbach Parkway. Take a look online for the latest installment of the project's regular newsletter.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 4

Project updates....

Across the San Antonio area, we have about a dozen major projects to keep you up-to-date on.

Without any ado, we'll just get right into it (for more info on the project itself - what we're doing, the scope and, in some cases, a graphic of what we're doing, hit the link attached to each project title):

Main Street Boerne

Last month our crews laid out the project area at the Cibolo Creek bridge. Expect action to pick up this month, as work on the traffic signal upgrades should start by mid-month. Crews will begin setting up structures to help build support structures for the bridge expansion.

Highway 39 Ingram

Crews set up environmental protection measures in January and, over the next month, will begin work almost exclusively at the Johnson Creek bridge. Most of this work will remain outside the traveling lanes, meaning you shouldn't see much in the way of actual disruption to your drive.

FM 306

Most of the work, at this point, has been setting up a work zone and beginning to widen the roadway at Purgatory Road. Non-TxDOT crews have been relocating utilities between I-35 and Hunter Road. In February, expect the turn-lane work around Purgatory Road to intensify; drivers may see occasional slow-downs as trucks enter and exit the roadway. Meanwhile, we expect work nearer to I-35 to remain about the way it is most of this month.

Business 46

This project will pause for the summer, so crews are working to get as much prep work done as they can. They've already cleared the work zone and have laid out the retaining walls to be built. Next month crews will focus on support structures for the retaining walls, moving the excess material to help build a railroad detour to be used later in the project. Most of this work is outside the traveling lanes, so drivers shouldn't be hindered by the work.

Wurzbach Parkway

Progress continues between West Avenue and Jones-Maltsberger, with most of the work done near U.S. Highway 281. Beams were set on the future east-bound entrance ramp from Hwy 281 to the Parkway, and dirt work is progressing quickly. In February, expect work to ramp up (no pun intended) as we begin our efforts to fit the entrance and exit ramps between Nakoma and Bitters to the new Wurzbach parkway. This will mean some weekend closures of the north-bound frontage road between Arion Parkway and Bitters, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 16-17 (more on that tomorrow).

We're still working with the responsible bonding company to get new contractors for the "book-end" sections, covering Blanco-to-West and JM-to-Wetmore.

1604-281 Interchange

Work continues - heck, they're nearing completion - on the interchange project. The good folks with the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority will be able to give you a better idea of what the most up-to-date information on that project is, so check them out (by hitting the link attached to the project name).

Fred-Med

If you've been paying attention to the media over the last few months, you may have heard we had a contractor declare bankruptcy. Fortunately, this project hadn't started yet - so we are in the process now of finding a new contractor to build this project. As soon as we have a new contractor, we'll be sure to let you know!

I-10 Huebner

Like the Fred-Med project (and two of the three segments of Wurzbach Parkway), this project has been caught in the tangle with the contractor that has declared bankruptcy. While it's frustrating to consistently drive through the area without seeing much change, we're inching closer to having a new contractor on board so we can get going again. We'll be sure to fill you in when that happens.

I-35 Selma

Wow, so much has happened ... I'm not sure just where to start. In January, we:
  • Built the bridge abutment structures for the FM 3009 turnaround bridges
  • Began laying out the support column structures for the FM 3009 bridges
  • Removed pavement from old exit/entrance ramps to be converted between FM 1518 and Schertz Parkway
  • Closed and began work on the upgrated exit ramp to Forum Parkway
Over February, the contractor will be prioritizing work at the Forum Parkway exit. Work will continue steadily at the entrance and exit ramps between FM 1518 and Schertz Parkway. We should see the support columns at FM 3009 formed and, if weather holds, built.

Vance Jackson Bridge

Not to be confused with the work the city of San Antonio is doing on Vance Jackson near Wurzbach in the city's northwest side, the work we are doing is a simple bridge overpass over Loop 1604 near The Rim (as if a bridge is all that simple...).

Anyway, the project continues smoothly - we've got abutment shelves built and work on the support columns is progressing smoothly. Look for crews to start working on column caps - large shelves on top of the support colmns. These caps will hold the support beams, which should be set in the next several weeks.

U.S. 281 Comal

This project is just getting underway, with crews just starting to lay out work areas. Expect excavation and clearing over the month of February, with most of the work happening outside the traveling lanes.

Loop 1604 Marbach

I almost forgot! We're still working on getting the Web page updated, but we're now at work and this project has moved beyond planning stages. Crews have just started working on clearing the construction zone, and have started laying the project out. Don't expect much to interfere with traffic for the month of February, but before summer things will get a little more hectic.

Friday, February 1

Lane closures scheduled next week

Interstate 10
Saturday, February 2
7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
East-bound I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews build a guardrail.

Interstate 35
Friday-Saturday, February 1-2
9 p.m. until 10 a.m.
North-bound I-35 between George Beach and Rittiman Road
The right lane will close while crews repair the concrete in the roadway.

Interstate 37
No lane closures scheduled.

Interstate 410
Monday-Friday, February 4-8
8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily
I-410 between I-37 and state Highway 16
Alternating lanes will close in both directions while crews repair the roadway and lane stripes.

Loop 1604
Monday-Tuesday, February 4-5
9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily
South-bound Loop 1604 between Emory Peak Drive and Spurs Ranch Road
The right lane will close while crews repair the roadway pavement.

North-bound Loop 1604 at Marbach Road
The right lane will close while crews begin work to widen the roadway.

U.S. Highway 90
No lane closures scheduled.


U.S. Highway 281
No lane closures scheduled.


Farm-to-Market roads
No lane closures scheduled.

All planned lane closures are pending weather. Road conditions and traffic updates available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot and Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdotsanantonio
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