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Thursday, September 26

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.