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....