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.