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Thursday, March 28

Lane closures for next week....

Interstate 10
Monday-Wednesday, April 1-3
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
North-bound I-10 frontage road between Presidio Parkway and Loop 1604
The right lane will be closed while crews pour concrete.

Interstate 35
Thursday-Friday, March 28-29
6 p.m. until 6 a.m.
I-35 frontage road turnaround south of Medina River Bridge (Von Ormy)
All lanes of the turnaround will be closed while crews set concrete barriers on the I-35 main lanes. Traffic will need to use the next available turnaround.

Monday-Friday, April 1-5
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
North-bound I-35 at Loop 1604
The right lane will be closed while crews move traffic barrier.

Monday-Wednesday, April 1-3
11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
South-bound I-35 at FM 3009
All lanes of south-bound I-35 will be closed while crews set bridge deck form panels for the FM 3009 turnaround bridges. THIS IS A TOTAL CLOSURE. Traffic will be diverted onto the frontage road. Expect long delays.

Wednesday-Friday, April 3-5
11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
North-bound I-35 at FM 3009
All lanes of north-bound I-35 will be closed while crews set bridge deck form panels for the FM 3009 turnaround bridges. THIS IS A TOTAL CLOSURE. Traffic will be diverted onto the frontage road. Expect long delays.

Interstate 37
No closures scheduled.

Interstate 410
No closures scheduled.

Loop 1604
Thursday-Saturday, April 28-30
9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
Loop 1604, both directions, at Vance Jackson (northwest San Antonio)
The left lane will be closed in both directions while crews remove concrete traffic barriers.

Monday-Wednesday, April 1-3
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
East-bound Loop 1604 frontage road between Valero Road and I-10 (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will be closed while crews pour concrete.

Monday-Wednesday, April 1-3
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
West-bound Loop 1604 frontage road between I-10 and Leon Creek (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will be closed while crews pour concrete.

U.S. Highway 90
Monday-Thursday, April 1-4
9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
U.S. Highway 90, both directions, between Loop 1604 and the Medina County line
Rolling, alternating lanes will be closed while crews restripe the roadway.

U.S. Highway 281
No closures scheduled.

Farm-to-Market roads
No closures scheduled.

All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Wurzbach Parkway ... in pictures....

A fairly low-key Parkway Progress is posted online. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27

It's not our project, but....

There's been a lot of hullaballoo out there over the last day or so regarding a planned closure on north-bound U.S. Highway 281 related to the Alamo RMA project at the intersection of Hwy 281 and Loop 1604.

The proposed closure would have shut down all north-bound traffic between Bitters Road and Brook Hollow Road through the weekend.

This closure - along with any other closures planned for this weekend on the RMA project - has been suspended.

A note to suspend work through the weekend was sent earlier today, instructing the contractor and teh RMA to cancel lane closures planned for the weekend due to anticipated heavy holiday traffic (Good Friday, Easter, etc.).

These closures will be rescheduled by the contractor and the Alamo RMA. Those changes will be announced by the Alamo RMA when appropriate.

Monday, March 25

What to watch for (this week)....

I-10 Huebner has resumed

True to promises over the weekend, Texas Sterling Construction officially began working on the I-10 Huebner project this morning. Over the next week crews will focus their efforts on cleaning the project area, dealing with erosion issues and shoring up materials storage.

Drivers on the northwest side should pay close attention to the UTSA Boulevard area, where most of the early restart action on the I-10 Huebner project will be.
Project personnel met this morning to discuss the week and form a to-do list for early work. A project schedule is expected in the next week or two. For now, just plan on seeing activity near UTSA Boulevard and De Zavala - but none of the activity should be in the actual traveling lanes of the interstate.

Big-time closures on I-35 Selma....

Don't forget! We're closing all south-bound lanes of I-35 at FM 3009 tonight at 11 p.m. We'll actually start shutting lanes down at 9 p.m., but as of 11 p.m. we'll have a total closure. While the highway is closed, crews will be setting bridge support beams.

Traffic will be diverted onto the frontage roads of I-35 at FM 3009 tonight and tomorrow night while crews hang bridge support beams for the future FM 3009 turnaround bridges.
Tomorrow night (Tuesday night), we'll be closing the north-bound lanes of I-35 at FM 3009. We'll have the closures picked up with traffic flowing again by 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday morning, respectively.

If you're an evening commuter, or an early bird, you may want to find an alternate route (like FM 2252 or, if you're traveling through New Braunfels, Highway 46 to I-10 in Seguin).

Loop 1604 - on the west side....

Work near Marbach Road - we're building an overpass there! - will require a few lane closures during the day through the week. Expect to see the right lane closed on both north-bound and south-bound lanes in the Marbach area.

Specifically, the north-bound lanes at Marbach will be closed; the south-bound lane closure will be between Emory Peak and Spurs Ranch Road.

Meanwhile, Angel Brothers Construction is working to finish their work to construct a north-to-south (or is it east-to-west?) turnaround at I-10 on the northwest side. The right lane of the east-bound access road will be closed during the day later this week while crews pour concrete.

Good Friday

San Antonio celebrates, as a city, a number of holidays not celebrated to the extent they are here. One is Good Friday.



In observance of Good Friday (and Easter Weekend), most of our projects will be shut down this weekend. You won't find a lot of work being done on Friday, and that work won't resume until Monday. Limited work around the city will be going, but don't expect to see a whole lot.

This isn't some sort of socio-theologic endorsement ... it's just plain good sense. This is a big deal for a lot of folks in San Antonio, whether it is for you (individually) or not. We're just trying to respect and honor that!

Saturday, March 23

I-10 Huebner project update

A few weeks ago, Vianna Davila accurately reported the upcoming restart of work on the I-10 Huebner project.

At the time, we weren't able to nail down a start date as the Ballenger bonding company and the contractor selected by the bonding company were still working out takeover agreements with subcontractors for the job. Work couldn't start without the contracts in place.

Our office got notification this week all appropriate paperwork is in order and the contractor has been cleared to begin work by the bonding company. We expect to see action Monday, March 25.

I don't yet have a construction schedule, so I can't elaborate on what work will be done during the first week of work. I know when work halted, most of the activity was centered around UTSA Boulevard.

The biggest message I can relay here is drivers should be aware of the activity and pay close attention during their morning - and their evening - commutes. Any time a road is being built, construction creates an environment of change. These changes may include shifts in traffic or the added presence of workers. Please be careful! Put your phone away, pay close attention, and drive safely through the work zone.
I want to personally thank everyone this project has impacted for their patience and understanding through this process. At TxDOT, we're dedicated to bringing a quality product that addresses congestion and maintains safety while connecting Texas communities. That's what we do! This has been a burr under the saddle of everyone involved, and we're doing our best to ensure this project gets back on track as soon as possible.

Friday, March 22

Lane closures report (pay attention to this weekend!)

The following lane closures have been scheduled in the Bexar Metro area for various construction project. Remember these are all pending weather and unforeseen circumstances.

Interstate 10
Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24
7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily
East-bound I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will be closed while crews repair a bridge joint and finish up the construction project in the area.

Interstate 35
Monday-Tuesday, March 25-26
11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
South-bound I-35 at Farm to Market 3009
All lanes of south-bound I-35 will close at FM 3009 while crews hang bridge support beams for the FM 3009 turnaround bridge structures. Traffic will be diverted onto the frontage road. Consider using FM 2252 as an alternate route.

Tuesday-Wednesday, March 26-27
11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
North-bound I-35 at Farm to Market 3009
All lanes of north-bound I-35 will close at FM 3009 while crews hang bridge support beams for the FM 3009 turnaround bridge structures. Traffic will be diverted onto the frontage road. Consider using FM 2252 as an alternate route.

Monday-Thursday, March 25-28
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
I-35 at Farm to Market 3009
The two left lanes will be closed for work on the FM 3009 turnaround bridge structures.

Interstate 37
Monday-Thursday, March 25-28
8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily
North-bound I-37 between the Atascosa-Bexar county line and U.S. Highway 181
Alternating lanes will be closed while crews repave the roadway.

Tuesday-Saturday, April 2-6
8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily
North-bound I-37 between the Atascosa-Bexar county line and U.S. Highway 181
Alternating lanes will be closed while crews repave the roadway.

Interstate 410
No closures scheduled.

Loop 1604
Friday-Sunday, March 22-24
9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
West-bound Loop 1604 at Vance Jackson (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will be closed while crews drill support column foundation shafts for cantilever highway signs. Entrance ramp to Loop 1604 will be closed. Traffic will use next available entrance.

U.S. Highway 90
No closures scheduled.

U.S. Highway 281
Saturday, March 23
7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
North-bound U.S. 281 frontage road between Nakoma Drive and Bitters Road
The two right lanes will be closed while crews set portable concrete traffic barriers. Traffic will have two lanes still available.

Farm-to-Market roads
No closures scheduled.

Thursday, March 21

I-35 Selma update ... the parkway progresses....

After a supplier was unable to get necessary materials to the Dan Williams Construction bridge-building crews this week, the total closure of I-35 main lanes at FM 3009 was postponed until next week.

The closure schedule and master plan has changed a bit, too - in a way that will benefit the driver. I've explained things a bit on video, but if you'd like to read what's happening, here you go:

 Monday (25 March) the south-bound main lanes will close while crews hang bridge support beams over the south-bound lanes. Tuesday, the north-bound lanes will be closed. Crews will begin shutting down lanes at 9 p.m. each night, with the total closure in effect by 11 p.m.

We'll have things back open by 5:30 a.m.

The previous plan was to close down all lanes, in both directions. This plan allows traffic in at least one direction to remain unencumbered.

After the beams have been set, crews will begin laying bridge deck forms - panels that create a mold for the slabs of concrete you'll actually drive on when we're all done. That work will begin Wednesday night (March 27) and extend through about April 4 (morning of April 5).

The work to set the forms and, subsequently, pour concrete will require additional highway closures. We're trying to work out a specific schedule, but we're hoping to limit total closures to a single night or two.

If you're looking to avoid the area (which I recommend) consider using FM 2252 through Garden Ridge. FM 2252 connects directly with I-35 north of the project, and connects again with Loop 1604 about a mile from the 1604-35 interchange.

You might also try using state Highway 46 to get down to I-10 at Seguin. And, if you're traveling to/from Austin, there's always SH 130.

By the way, in observance of Good Friday and Easter, work will be halted next Friday thru Sunday night (March 29-31).

Shifting gears....

Some pretty big news on the Wurzbach Parkway project. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just direct you to the project's weekly newsletter (it should be posted online by March 22).

Tuesday, March 19

US 281 Comal - an intro and a closer look


If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video should be worth far more.

Here's a look at the US 281 Comal project, with some narrative. Feel free to share and pass it around.

Monday, March 18

I-35 closures postponed

Somewhere around 2 p.m. today we got word the planned shut-down of all lanes of I-35 at FM 3009 Wednesday night and Thursday night will be delayed about a week.

Details aren't clear, but the likely cause is availability of the materials.

The highway is being shut down while bridge building crews set massive bridge support beams across the main lanes. These beams will hold up the new turnaround bridges, currently under construction, allowing traffic on the frontage roads to change directions without moving through the signals of the intersection.

Over the last several weeks crews have closed the left lanes of I-35 at FM 3009 in both directions to rebuild the center median, fitting it to the new support columns that will hold up the beams. Crews finished forming and pouring the columns and shelf-like column caps in the last week and a half.

The closures, when they happen, will begin at 11 p.m. and be removed by 5:30 a.m.

We hope to know exact times for the closures Thursday afternoon.

Friday, March 15

Next week's big closures....

Here's a look at the biggest road closures to be aware of next week (these are all related to active construction projects) ... remember all closures are subject to change pending weather conditions:

Interstate 10
Saturday-Sunday, March 16-17
7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily
I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will be closed while crews repair a bridge joint. Expect delays.

Monday-Friday, March 18-22
9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
I-10 between Foster Road and Loop 1604 (east San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will be closed while crews repair a bridge joint. Expect delays.

Interstate 35
Sunday-Wednesday, March 17-20
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
I-35 at FM 3009
The two left lanes will be closed in both directions while crews construct a center median and bridge support structures. Expect long delays; consider using FM 2252 as an alternate route.

Wednesday-Friday, March 20-22
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
I-35 at FM 3009
All lanes of the interstate will be closed in both directions while crews hang bridge support beams. This is a total closure of the interstate. Traffic will be moved onto the frontage roads to pass through FM 3009. Expect long delays; consider using FM 2252 as an alternate route.

U.S. Highway 90
Sunday-Friday, March 17-22
9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
U.S. Hwy 90 between I-35 and I-410
Alternating lanes will close in both directions while crews restripe the roadway. Expect delays.

U.S. Highway 281
Sunday-Monday, March 17-18
8 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
North-bound frontage road of U.S. Hwy 281 between Arion Parkway and Heimer Road
Alternating lanes will close while crews strip the frontage road surface in work related to the Wurzbach Parkway project. This closure includes the north-bound entrance ramp from Nakoma Drive. Traffic will enter the main lanes after driving through Bitters Road.

Clearly, the biggest item is the total closure of I-35 at FM 3009 Wednesday night and Thursday night. If you drive in the area, I'm recommending using FM 2252, which connects with Loop 1604 just west of I-35 about a mile or so.

Wednesday, March 13

New construction here, there, everywhere....

Since the new year, more than a half-dozen significant projects have started and a handful are on deck to get going in the next several weeks.

Just so you're up-to-date, here's a run-down on what's been started lately:

Kerr County
In Kerrville, we're widening the bridge on Francisco Lemmons Street, making it more friendly for pedestrians and bikers. That's a short project, but it's major for those who live in the area.

Not to be outdone in the county, the folks in Ingram have welcomed the expansion of Hwy 39, running right through the commerce hub of the laid-back town. Though we began in January, the contractor didn't have resources committed to the project until late February. Most of the work (for now) is to be around the Johnson Creek bridge. Work will conclude late 2014.

Kendall County
The Main Street Boerne project hit a snag over the weekend as crews discovered some utility lines that were a few inches from where they had expected. However, work continues to be on pace to finish on schedule. Work to widen the main street bridge over Cibolo Creek continues on pace, but traffic disruptions are heaviest with work on the crosswalk and traffic signal upgrades. If you're headed for downtown Boerne this week at all (heck, all summer), plan on small delays for this work. That said, we're going to try staying out of the way for the biggest events.

Comal County
Perhaps the biggest news in Comal County is the start of the FM 306 enhancements between I-35 and Hunter Road. Through the summer, the biggest impact will be right at Hunter Road. Once the right-of-way is prepared and barricades are set up (which should be happening over the next 2 weeks or so), crews will eliminate the left-turn lanes off FM 306 onto Hunter. That's going to make left turns pretty rough, and cause some backups along the corridor. If you're headed to Gruene for anything, we recommend taking Common Street and taking a right on Old FM 306, which should lead you where you need to go.

We're also working on turn lanes and passing lanes on FM 306 out toward Canyon Lake, and we're expanding (significantly) US Hwy 281 up in Spring Branch. But work on those projects hasn't interfered with traffic very much. If you're out that way, be careful to watch out for trucks and equipment, though. Remember: safety first!

The expansion of the railroad overpass on Business 46 in New Braunfels is in full swing. We're working on support structures for the future retaining walls right now. As agreed upon between our engineers and the city of New Braunfels, though, we'll be taking a break here as summer gets going - and we'll stay out of that project until summer ends. When we get going again in the fall, though, we'll have to close the road completely for about five months. More on that when the time comes.

Bexar County
The biggest project that's started in the last three months in Bexar County is on Loop 1604 at Marbach Road, where we're building an overpass. That project has stayed out of the way of traffic for the most part, with occasional overnight lane closures. As the summer comes, so will the bigger work. Expect some delays over the summer - the biggest overnight.

As was reported towared the end of last year, we had three major projects halted because of a contractor defaulting and, later, filing for bankruptcy. Then, just a week ago, the Express-News correctly reported intentions to resume the I-10 Huebner project in the next week or so. We're still planning on that, in fact. As I discussed before, we're waiting on the ink to dry on some contracts before we can put shovel to dirt again. Here's a brief run-down of projects affected by the Ballenger Construction debacle (because I get asked about these daily):

  • I-10 Huebner. A new contractor has been named - Webber Construction - and final agreements between TxDOT, the Ballenger bonding company, Webber and any smaller subcontractors are being worked out. The goal is to resume work next week, but contracts need to be final before that can happen. Expect work by the end of March. Until an official construction schedule is submitted, we have no speculation as to what kind of time frame the 30-month project will be following as we move forward.
  • Wurzbach Parkway - East End. We're waiting for agreements to be finalized before the Ballenger bonding company releases the name of a new contractor. We're hoping to have this segment - running from Jones-Maltsberger to Wetmore - back in action by early April. This project has about a year of work left on it, so expect to see this one wrapped up early 2014.
  • Wurzbach Parkway - West End. Same story as the other end of the parkway. Some chatter in the industry we'll have the same contractor on both segments of the parkway, and that's helpful. Only about two months' worth of work was left on this project. Once we get underway (I expect late April or early May, at the latest), look for about 8 or 9 weeks of work before this segment of the parkway - running from Blanco Road to West Avenue - will be opened.
  • Fred-Med. Because of delays caused by utility conflicts, TxDOT District Engineer Mario Medina was able to keep this project out of the grips of the Ballenger default. There's been a pile of paperwork (all required) done behind-the-scenes, and TxDOT staff has this project ready to receive bids this spring. We should have a new contractor selected by late spring, and we hope to start putting shovels to the ground by mid-summer. Again, thanks to Mario's quick actions and hard work, this project was rescued (is that word appropriate?) from the whole mess that unfolded toward the end of last year.
  • 1604-151. This project was technically still under contract when Ballenger defaulted. However, we're working on a modified design that will allow us to meet our agency goals while remaining a responsible steward of our state's natural resources. This process is well underway, and no specifics on a re-start date have yet been determined. No details on the modified design are known either, though we anticipate a design that carries lanes of Hwy 151 over Loop 1604 (the previous plan carried Hwy 151 under Lp 1604). We're exploring a ton of options to expedite this project, so speculation beyond this is simply impossible and inappropriate.
There you have it. That's everything that has started, has re-started or is about to re-start in the San Antonio area. We'll have other projects in Bexar County and surrounding counties ready for action later this year. Stay tuned to hear more when the time comes!

Tuesday, March 12

New traffic signal on Hwy 46 at Rudeloff Road (Seguin)

Well ... we activated a new traffic signal today at the intersection of state Highway 46 and Rudeloff Road, about two miles north of Interstate 10 in the Seguin area.

The $132,000 signal was completed a week ago. As is normal practice by the state’s Highway Department, the signal was set to flash yellow for a full week before it was turned on. According to TxDOT data from 2011, some 21,000 vehicles move through the intersection daily.

The new signal includes protected left-turn lanes coming from Highway 46. Before the signals were installed, traffic on the highway did not stop. Traffic on Rudeloff Road – home to the local municipal airport – has been controlled by stop signs.

The new signal is controlled by radar devices, allowing the busy highway to remain free-flowing as much as possible. The radar activates the signal when cross traffic approaches, allowing traffic to safely cross the highway.

Thursday, March 7

I-35 Selma crews focus on FM 3009, Forum Pkwy

Those among the nearly 200,000 routinely driving along the I-35 Selma project northeast of San Antonio have noticed gradual - but steady and strong - progress along FM 3009 and at the north-bound exit ramp to Forum Parkway.

These areas are the current focus of road building crews contracted by the TxDOT, while they continue to work on the entrance and exit ramps between Schertz Parkway and FM 1518.

The goal is to have the exit and entrance ramps open - along with both turnaround bridges on FM 3009 - by early May. Getting to that point is going to mean some road blocks - literally - over the next several weeks. Remember: the only time crews can fully shut down main lanes of I-35 on this project are between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., Sunday night through Friday morning. Any violation of these times means a significant financial penalty charged to the contractor.

Additionally, crews will need to pare the main lanes down to a single lane in each direction for the next week or two (they've been doing it for about a week already) while they rebuild the center median at FM 3009 to fit the new bridge support structures. These closures will begin at 9 p.m. and be picked up by 5:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights. We'll be closing the left two lanes, meaning only a single lane in each direction will remain open.

At Forum Parkway, crews have already began building the asphalt base for the new roadway and plan to open a new entrance ramp, immediately under the Loop 1604 overpass bridge, within the next few weeks. That will allow crews to begin working on the overpass structure that will carry traffic headed for Forum Parkway over vehicles coming from Loop 1604 onto north-bound I-35. As of today, we're running on schedule to open everything up by the beginning of June.

As we approach festival season in south-central Texas, please be aware of the crews working to build and improve your roadways. They're working to help you - help them out by driving safely through the work zones!

Parkway Progress

It's time for another update on what's happening at the Wurzbach Parkway project. This week's installment is a bit of a photo montage.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 4

What's that dozer doing out there, anyway? (Comal County edition....)

As work begins ratcheting up on U.S. Highway 281 in the Spring Branch area, more folks are calling in to find out what's happening.

We're still working to put together a publishable look at what the new four-lane, divided highway will look like when we're all done up in the north end of Comal County. One thing that can be put to rest, immediately, is the funding sources for the roadway: non-tolled traditional funds (with a little help from Comal County). When we're done, the roadway will look a lot like access roads lining an as-yet non-existant set of express lanes. Traffic signals at the major intersections will protect traffic turning on and off the highway.

Meanwhile, we're busy clearing right-of-way. Our contractor, Hunter Industries, is making some solid progress on some of the culverts in the new highway alignment. We're still working with some of the utility companies to get some things shifted around - particularly with Canyon Lake Water, GVTC and PEC. That means not all crews you'll see out there belong with TxDOT, but all the activity is generally related to the TxDOT project.

The questions on U.S. Hwy 281 have lead me to writing a brief round-up of other work in Comal County....

Business 46
We're still working on drilling drill shafts for retaining walls on the project, but we're not really impacting the traveling lanes of the crossing of Business 46 at the UPRR overpass in New Braunfels. Folks will see drill rigs out there on site, and we'll need to pour some concrete from time to time. We're working to get as much done as we can this month, as we're getting close to the tourism season. Once summer hits, we'll move off the job until September.

FM 306 (Canyon Lake)
Still moving forward with widening the roadway in areas we'll be striping for new passing lanes and turn lanes. Not much of the work should interfere with the average commuter, but expect to see some movement along the roadway with occasional trucks or other equipment. All of that equipment will be associated with dirt-moving crews who are building the pavement base, or a base of dirt that can hold up the pavement and the traffic on the new turn or passing lanes.

FM 306 (UPRR)
We hope to have utilities and right-of-way issues resolved in the next week or so. Recently our contractor took down some of the trees in the right-of-way, anticipating being able to begin work soon. Because we haven't authorized the contractor to turn any dirt yet, they won't haul off all the tree debris until they officially begin work. They're hoping to get after things before Easter.

That's what we've got for now. We're making progress, but most of the work is new enough, we're out of the way of those driving through the project areas. But stay tuned - we'll announce major changes in work right here as those changes are planned.
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