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Friday, September 27

Next week's construction-related road closures

Interstate 10
Sunday-Tuesday, September 29-October 1
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Westbound main lanes between I-410 and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews repair the road base. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 30-October 4
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound frontage road between DeZavala and Fredericksburg Roads (northwest San Antonio)
The two left lanes will close while crews set barrier. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 30-October 4
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound main lanes between UTSA Boulevard and DeZavala Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier. Expect delays.
 
Tuesday-Thursday, October 1-3
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Woodstone Drive (northwest San Antonio)
The left lane will close while crews set barrier. Expect delays.
 
Tuesday-Friday, October 1-4
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound frontage road between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
The left lane will close while crews set barrier. Expect delays.
 
Wednesday-Friday, October 2-4
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
The two left lanes will close while crews pour concrete. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 35
Sunday-Friday, September 29-October 4
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes between Powell Street and Malone (downtown)
Alternating lanes will close while crews work on the roadway joints. This will impact traffic on both directions. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Saturday, September 30-October 5
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Frontage road turnarounds at the Medina River (southwest Bexar County)
The turnarounds at the Medina River will close while crews demolish the old bridge structure. Traffic will use the next available exit and turnaround. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 37
Saturday-Friday, September 28-October 4
6 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
Southbound main lanes between Hwy 181 and the Atascosa River
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 410
No closures scheduled.
 
Loop 1604
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 90
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 281
Friday-Sunday, September 27-30
10 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Northbound main lanes between Brook Hollow and Loop 1604 (north side)
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road to replace asphalt that failed inspection. This project is associated with the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority. Expect delays.
 
Sunday-Friday, September 29-October 5
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Southbound main lanes between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive (north side)
The auxiliary lane will close while bridge crews work on support structures for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass bridge.
 
Sunday-Friday, September 29-October 5
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Southbound frontage road between Interpark and North Park Drive (north side)
The left and center lanes will close while bridge crews work on support structures for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass bridge.
 
Monday-Thursday, September 30-October 3
8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily
Main lanes between the Guadalupe River and the Blanco County line (Spring Branch)
One-way traffic control will be used in targeted areas along this corridor while crews build new drain structures. Expect long delays.
 
Other roads
Monday-Tuesday, September 30-October 1
8 p.m. until a.m.
Medical Drive between Ewing Halsell and Fairhaven (South Texas Medical Center)
The inbound lanes will close while crews restripe the road. Traffic will be limited to a single lane in each direction. This will create a new traffic pattern along this stretch of Medical Drive. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Wednesday, October 1-3
8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Medical Drive between Ewing Halsell and Fairhaven (South Texas Medical Center)
The inbound lanes will close while crews set barrier. Traffic will be limited to a single lane in each direction. Expect delays.
 
All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Thursday, September 26

Closure of NB I-35 exit UPDATE

The planned closure of the northbound I-35 exit to FM 3009 has been postponed until Sunday night, October 6 due to inclement weather in the forecast.

Most of the work requiring the ramp closure involves heavy dirt work, which is much more difficult with heavy rains. Rather than closing the ramp and having to stop work to wait for the ground to dry, Dan Williams Company has asked to delay the closure.

The work on the reconstructed exit ramp to FM 3009 was initially planned to begin Sept. 22 but was pushed back due to heavy rains late last week. This weekend's weather is expected to be similar.
The northbound exit to FM 3009 will be expanded to two lanes and repositioned just a bit to accommodate the improvements to I-35 along the Live Oak, Selma and Schertz corridor.
With the ramp closed, crews will add a lane to the exit and reposition the ramp to fit the improvements along the I-35 corridor through Live Oak, Selma and Schertz. When the ramp is reopened after no more than three weeks of work (per the contract), the north-to-south turnaround at FM 3009 should also open for use. This will mean all northbound frontage road lanes currently blocked for the workzone will also open up.

Again: the planned closure of the northbound I-35 exit ramp to FM 3009 has been pushed to Sunday night, October 6.

Comal County round-up

Here's a look at the latest on the major projects around Comal County....

Schwab Road

Though not an active construction project, the Schwab Road underpass at I-35 is a concern to those driving the area regularly. Earlier this month a large truck with a lifted boom struck the underside of the bridge, damaging the support beam.

Our maintenance crews had a temporary fix in place within a few short hours, but the permanent fix will take a bit more than a month. In fact, crews are working on that fix now. Schwab Road will remain closed at I-35 until the bridge repair is complete in mid-November.

The shifted lanes on northbound I-35 will remain shifted until mid-November as well.

FM 306

With New Braunfels Utilities restringing power lines to utilize the newer, taller, metal poles at Goodwin Lane, Hunter Industries in one step closer to getting the first of two railroad overpasses built.
Crews with New Braunfels Utilities run new power lines along new, taller, power poles that will clear the UPRR overpasses being built. Once the other utility companies follow suit and move wires out of the way, this overpass at Goodwin will quickly be finished.
Though the NBU lines are being moved this week, lines belonging to other utilities companies will still need to be moved. That may take several weeks, so in the meantime bridge builders will be putting up retaining walls to form the bridge overpass structure. Once the overhead lines are out of the way, however, dates to hang bridge support beams will be scheduled. Project supervisors are optimistic that will happen at some point this fall.

Seguin Avenue

The massive rains last week didn't actually slow down Austin Bridge and Road very much, and crews have cleared just about everything out of the way of what will be the main lanes of Seguin Avenue and began building the support columns for the shoo-fly detour to be used by the railroad.
North of the active railroad bridge just a few yards, bridge builders are constructing the "shoo-fly" detour. Meanwhile, dirt crews continue to progress on the new Seguin Avenue underpass.
The hope is to have the detour in use by late November, allowing ABR to begin working on the actual bridge structure.

By the way ... the original bridge was also built by Austin Bridge and Road. Actually, it was built by the Austin Bridge Company, which was also known as Austin Brothers Bridge Company back in the 1920s. The name was changed to AB&R in the 1990s.
The Seguin Avenue railroad underpass, built in 1936, is being rebuilt by the same company that built it in the first place. Austin Bridge Company was renamed Austin Bridge and Road in the 1990s.
Anyway, it's kind of interesting to note the company that built the bridge in 1936 is doing the work again in 2013. Funny how things come full circle, right?

Oh, and just to be sure everyone is clear: the stones making up the original retaining wall are being restored and prepared to be used on the new retaining wall.

U.S. 281 Comal

For the next two-plus weeks (until October 10, weather permitting), we'll have daily one-way traffic control in the Spring Branch area while crews build box culverts under the road. This is the only significant closure we'll see for a while on this project, though - the contractor actually has hopes to open the first portion of new roadway as early as next month.

The closures folks have been pushing through over the last few days will not be in place on Fridays, meaning work will be done Monday thru Thursday only.

We're also looking at a few options to enhance safety along the work zone - an issue we're always reevaluating on each of our projects. We have some out-of-the-box ideas we're excited about, and as soon as some decisions are made we'll let folks know.

We still have no word on what's happening with the Post Office in Spring Branch.

Wednesday, September 25

The next closure on the I-35 Selma project

Sunday night, September 29, crews working for the Texas Department of Transportation will close the northbound I-35 exit to FM 3009 in Schertz for three weeks to rebuild the exit ramps and finish work on the frontage road.

Traffic will use the Schertz Parkway exit and follow the frontage road to reach FM 3009. The closure is tied to a milestone allowing the contractor just three weeks to finish work while rewarding efforts to reopen the ramp early.

Crews are rebuilding the exit to better align with the new entrance ramp from FM 1518. An additional lane will be added to the exit. Work on the north-to-south turnaround should also be completed, opening the lanes of the northbound frontage road closed to accommodate the improvements at the busy intersection.

This closure represents the second major milestone on the project. The first major milestone is the construction of the braided exit ramp on northbound I-35 to Forum Parkway, serving the major shopping center of the metro area’s northeast side. In order to accomplish that work, earlier this month crews closed the ramp from Loop 1604 onto northbound I-35. That closure has been extended into November – initially crews planned to reopen the ramp mid-October – to expedite the completion of the Forum Parkway exit ramp.

Weather permitting, the Forum Parkway exit ramp should be done in time for the holiday shopping season.

Tuesday, September 24

Fred-Med STARTS (started?) TODAY

The grade seperation project at the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Medical Drive officially kicked off this morning, with crews setting barricades and posting construction-zone signs. Stormwater guards will be set up by tomorrow (Wednesday), and the first work of the project requiring lane closures - some manhole adjustments on Medical Drive west of Fredericksburg Road - will be done Thursday night.

 
The overall purpose of this project is twofold: First, as a safety project, this project will allow traffic to get to the South Texas Medical Center uninterrupted by the heavy flow of cross traffic on Fredericksburg Road. As an effect, the decreased cross traffic (and eliminated change on the traffic signal cycle) will reduce congestion levels on Fredericksburg Road.
 
One Twiterr user (Twitterer?) asked today why we'd choose this intersection for a project like this, when other routes are also used to reach the medical center. The answer has to do with regional transportation planning maps and roads that lead directly to hospitals.
 
This project is the brainchild of a collaborative effort between planners and officials from the city of San Antonio, the STMC and TxDOT. Folks with the county have been involved as well. In fact, part of the nearly $20 million we've committed to this project came from the city, and part even came from the STMC.
 
(Sidenote: the total project cost is listed at $14.6 million, but that doesn't include the right-of-way acquisition and the utility adjustments done a year ago or more. The $14.6 million is the total estimated cost of the current contract, including construction and engineering costs.)
 
At any rate, Medical Drive is the official designated hospital route from I-10. Has the blue signs - we call them wayfinding, or trailblazing, signs - along the way and everything. Other routes, like Wurzbach Road, may be popular to visitors to the medical center ... but this project is about getting to hospitals more than it is about getting to the rest of the STMC.
 
And Medical Drive is the most direct route - it involves the fewest actual turns - to reach a hospital from the major highway(s).
 
So we're clearing the way for those who are working to reach the hospital. That's why this is happening on Medical Drive rather than other potential cross-streets.
 
Hopefully that clears things up!

Friday, September 20

Next week's construction-related closures

Interstate 10
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound frontage road between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road (northwest side)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set drain boxes and concrete barrier. This closure includes the entrance ramp from UTSA Boulevard. Traffic will use the next available ramp. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound main lanes between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road (northwest side)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set concrete barrier. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
9 a.m. until 3:30 a.m. daily
Westbound frontage road between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest side)
The left lane will close while crews remove concrete and haul off dirt. Electricians will also build a light box. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between Ramsgate and DeZavala Road (northwest side)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set concrete barrier. Expect delays.
 
Wednesday-Friday, September 25-27
10 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between I-410 and Huebner Road (northwest side)
Rolling, alternating lanes will close while crews restripe the road. Expect delays.
 
Thursday-Friday, September 26-27
9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily
Eastbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Wurzbach Road (northwest side)
The right lane will close while electricians do work related to the I-10 Huebner project.
 
Interstate 35
Sunday-Monday, September 22-23
11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Main lanes, both directions, between Forum Parkway and FM 1518
All main lanes will close while crews build an overhead highway sign. Traffic will exit onto the frontage road and reenter at the next available ramp. Expect long delays.
 
Sunday-Friday, September 22-27
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Powell Street and Malone (downtown)
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. This closure includes the entrance and exit ramps associated with westbound U.S. Highway 90. Traffic will take the next exit and turnaround. Expect delays.
 
Sunday-Friday, September 22-27
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Loop 1604 and Schertz Parkway (Selma/Shertz)
The left lane will close in each direction while crews build the center median barrier. Expect delays.
 
Sunday-Wednesday, September 22-25
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily
Turnaround south of the Medina River (south Bexar County)
Alternating lanes of the turnaround south of the Medina River will close while crews demolish old bridge structures. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 37
Saturday-Saturday, September 21-28
6 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
Northbound main lanes between U.S. Hwy 181 and the Atascosa River (southeast Bexar County)
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 410
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Westbound main lanes between U.S. Hwy 90 and state Highway 151 (west side)
Alternating lanes will close while survey crews bore into the pavement to collect survey data.
 
Thursday-Friday, September 26-27
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Southbound exit and entrance ramps near Old Pearsall Road (southwest Bexar County)
The exit ramp to Old Pearsall Road and the entrance ramp from Old Pearsall Road will close while crews repair the road surface. Traffic will use the next exit. Expect delays.
 
Loop 1604
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 90
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 281
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Southbound main lanes between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive (north side)
The auxiliary lane will close while crews work on the bridge support structures related to the Wurzbach Parkway project.
 
Monday-Friday, September 23-27
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Southbound frontage road between Interpark and North Park Drive (north side)
The left and center lanes will close while crews work on the bridge support structures related to the Wurzbach Parkway project.
 
Other roads
Thursday-Saturday, September 26-28
8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Medical Drive between Fredericksburg Road (Loop 345) and Fairhaven Street (Medical Center)
All but a single lane will close while crews build manholes on Medical Drive. Traffic controllers will direct one-way traffic through the work area. Emergency vehicles will receive priority. Expect delays.
 
All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Tuesday, September 17

I-10 Huebner project update

With the soil nails finally conquered on the eastbound side of I-10, crews hope to have the first major retaining wall near UTSA Boulevard near completion by the end of next week. This will be the first major structure to be finished on the far west end of the project.

But it doesn't mean our contractor doesn't still have a very long way to go - the soil nails on the westbound side, for instance, still haven't been fully pounded in.

In addition to a finished retaining wall, eastbound drivers between UTSA Boulevard and DeZavala will notice work on the eastbound exit ramp to DeZavala Road. A steel plate was put in place more than a week ago, covering a trench dug for crews to work on underground stormwater drain.

Similar work will be done on the westbound exit to Woodstone (which will be the new, permanent, exit to DeZavala Road). That work - which will be done outside the traveling lanes and behind traffic barrier. For the most part, that is.

To the everyday driver, these items are relatively minor; the bigger changes remaining will be seen at DeZavala near the beginning of 2014. Those changes will take a full year to construct.

But for now, at least, we'll be celebrating the small victories that mark progress. And we'll work to ensure these several small victories add up to one much larger victory.

Monday, September 16

Moving along well; a quick look at the I-35 Selma job....

In a Thursday afternoon meeting about the closure of the Loop 1604 ramps to northbound I-35, representatives of The Forum shopping center and the city of Live Oak expressed some surprise the traffic wasn't backed up more than it was in the area.

Because of the ramp closure, traffic is being routed onto the frontage roads at Pat Booker Road. Before reaching the northbound main lanes of I-35, all traffic has to pass through the traffic signal at Forum Parkway. Everyone - including just about every TxDOT engineer involved with the project - thought traffic would stack up onto Loop 1604. We expected a bit of a traffic disaster.

However, even at peak traffic hours the total wait to get onto the Interstate is about fifteen minutes. And that's going the long way. During the day, when traffic is a little lighter, the detour takes between 8 and 10 minutes to get through.

Even with these phenomenal figures, we're actually going to try and improve the flow a little more. We're looking into a minor traffic pattern change on the westbound frontage road at Pat Booker Road, paring traffic down to one lane to allow drivers using the east-to-west turnaround a protected acceleration lane. We're evaluating timing of traffic signals, giving us a better flow of traffic. So much for talk of the traffic patterns out there.

Let's talk progress....

Within a few hours of setting up the closure last week, we had drill rigs in place digging foundation holes for our bridge support columns. Work on those columns has been moving quickly, and later this week we hope to have additional columns underway. Drivers should also start seeing retaining walls for the bridge structure start going up.

Everyone on the project is working toward the same goal: to have that north-bound exit to Forum Parkway reopened as soon as possible. We're working on a few out-of-the-box ideas to move faster than even our projected January target date; if any of those ideas are approved, we'll be sure to announce them.

Olympia Parkway

For now, the best way to get to The Forum and The Shops at The Forum from northbound I-35 is Olympia Parkway.

On the southbound side, the Olympia Parkway exit is closed - we're moving the exit further north, closer to the bridge. The idea behind that is to give traffic a little more time to move around on the frontage road, and we just built a new entrance ramp before Forum Parkway. Until the new ramp - which will have two lanes - is complete, traffic is using the Schertz Parkway exit.

We hope to have the Olympia Parkway exit finished in time for the holiday shopping season.

The next milestone....

The night of September 22 (a Sunday), crews will close the northbound exit ramp to FM 3009. The ramp is tied to a milestone that allows just three weeks for work; when crews reopen the ramp, it will have two lanes and the north-to-south turnaround will be ready for use. The entrance ramp from FM 1518 will also be opened.

That is, if the weather (and the equipment) cooperates.

That will mean that, by mid-October, all the northbound frontage road lanes currently closed will reopen. Until that point, all northbound traffic to FM 3009 will use the Schertz Parkway exit.

Friday, September 13

Next week's construction-related closures

Interstate 10
Monday-Friday, September 16-20
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound frontage road between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road
Alternating lanes will close while crews set drain boxes and concrete barrier. This closure includes the entrance ramp from UTSA Boulevard. Traffic will use the next available ramp. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 16-20
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound main lanes between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road
Alternating lanes will close while crews move concrete barrier. This closure includes the entrance ramp from UTSA Boulevard and the exit ramps to Fredericksburg Road and to Huebner Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, September 16-20
9 a.m. until 3:30 a.m. daily
Westbound frontage road between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard
The left lane will close while crews remove concrete and haul off dirt.
 
Monday-Friday, September 16-20
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between Ramsgate and DeZavala Road
Alternating lanes will close while crews move concrete barrier. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 35
Sunday-Friday, September 15-20
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Powell Street and Malone (downtown)
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. This closure includes the entrance and exit ramps associated with westbound U.S. Highway 90. Traffic will take the next exit and turnaround. Expect delays.
 
Sunday-Friday, September 15-20
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes between Loop 1604 and Schertz Parkway (Selma/Shertz)
Two northbound lanes and one southbound lane will close while crews install concrete median barrier. Expect delays.
 
Wednesday-Wednesday, September 18-25
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily
Turnaround south of the Medina River (south Bexar County)
Alternating lanes of the turnaround south of the Medina River will close while crews demolish old bridge structures. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 37
Sunday-Friday, September 15-20
6 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly
Southbound main lanes between U.S. Hwy 181 and the Atascosa River (southeast Bexar County)
Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the roadway. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 410
No closures scheduled.
 
Loop 1604
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 90
Monday-Friday, September 16-20
9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily
Westbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and I-410 (west San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while survey crews bore into the pavement to collect survey data.
 
U.S. Highway 281
Friday-Saturday, September 13-14
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Southbound main lanes between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive
The right lane will close while crews work on the bridge structure for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass. Expect delays.
 
Friday-Saturday, September 13-14
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m
Southbound frontage road between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive
The left and center lanes will close while crews work on the bridge structure for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass. Expect delays.
 
Tuesday-Thursday, September 17-19
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m nightly
Turnarounds at Bitters Road
Both frontage road turnarounds will close while crews set beams for the U.S. 281 bridge expansion. Expect delays.
 
Thursday-Friday, September 19-20
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Southbound main lanes between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive
The right lane will close while crews work on the bridge structure for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass. Expect delays.
 
Thursday-Friday, September 19-20
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m
Southbound frontage road between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive
The left and center lanes will close while crews work on the bridge structure for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass. Expect delays.
 
Other roads
Tuesday-Thursday, September 17-19
10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m nightly
Bitters Road at U.S. Highway 281
Bitters Road will close at U.S. Highway 281 while crews set beams for the U.S. 281 bridge expansion. Traffic will follow the frontage roads to use Nakoma Drive and Winding Way to reach their destinations. Expect delays.
 
All planned lane closures are pending weather.
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