Saturday, June 15

Off the beaten path ... (roundup of non-metro projects)

We spend so much time talking about projects in the San Antonio-Bexar metro area, but the San Antonio district covers 12 counties. So, out of deference to those living in the "other" 11 counties, here's a glance at where we're at with our other projects:

Comal County

This is where the bulk of our major work that's not in San Antonio is going on. I'll try to be brief, but complete....

Seguin Street (Business 46)
The contractor is hard at work to install five-foot-by-two-foot drain boxes - one of the major features of this project, which will provide much-needed improved drainage in addition to the widened roadway - while working on the early stages of the shoofly detour for the railroad.

We're still holding strong to the stance that we'll not allow any closures on the road until the summer season is over. However, the contractor has targeted 9 September as the date to begin the heaviest work of the project. This work will require the total closure of Seguin Street, and we won't open the road back up until mid-April 2014.

FM 306
What you see out there now is about what you'll see day in, day out for the next five months or so. That said, our contractor (Hunter Industries) is working hard to make the overall project move more quickly. They've been working on some segments that weren't scheduled for work until later next year. The idea is to work in every area that's barricaded off right now, rather than focus efforts in one area with a large swath of barricaded roadway going unworked.

Also, sometime next week, the contractor should be receiving VIVDS cameras for the signals at Common and at Hunter. These will allow the signals to sense traffic rather than relay on a timer. This will improve traffic flow - well, as much as can be done with occasional interruptions from train crossings!

The goal is to have the VIVDS operational in time for the July Fourth weekend, weather permitting.

U.S. 281 (Spring Branch)
Not a lot has changed for those passing through, and not a lot will for the next several weeks. Well, with one slight exception.

Crews were slated to install a new signal set at the intersection of U.S. 281 and FM 306 Friday, but weather washed those plans away (see what I did there?). The plan is to re-group over the upcoming week and get things put in as soon as the ground is dry enough to allow. This will require some traffic control for the duration of work - about a day - and folks should look out for a flagger. Again, it shouldn't be for longer than a day.

Kendall County

Main Street Boerne
The work on The Hill Country Mile plods along ... we're hoping to be all finished up with everything by the end of summer. So far, no indications that work is running behind at all.

Kerr County

Hwy 39 Ingram
This project is a bit frustrating for everyone involved. The contractor received a notice to proceed in January ... and, well, to date they have constructed half of a box culvert and a single wing wall.

Earlier this week the contractor drilled the first drill shafts - evidence of work on the bridge near Ingram Tom Moore High School. TxDOT engineers are working with the contractor to spur construction, which was initially scheduled to take just 13 months.

Guadalupe and Wilson counties

The biggest work east of Bexar County is along state Highway 123 - where we're working to build passing lanes and turn lanes. A lot of work has been finished, but we've got a lot left. Our contractor is expected to be finished in a little more than a year. Between now and then our work will, for the most part, remain beyond the traveling lanes of the highway.

McMullen County

Since there are something like 750 people down in McMullen county, I need to make mention of it. Really, the county is home to a lot of Eagle Ford Shale work.

TxDOT crews are hard at work down south to keep state Highway 16 in good repair so folks can continue driving through as they do. That's about all we've got going on in that county.

Atascosa, Frio, Medina, Uvalde, Bandera counties

Most of our work through the south and southwest segments of our district is maintenance work - nothing major happening beyond the work on I-35 at Medina River and on I-37 between the Atascosa County line and Loop 1604 (really, that's in Bexar County). That I-37 work - the south-bound lanes are being repaved - has caused some major delays and is being done at night.