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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!