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Thursday, January 30

I-35 SAMMC, I-35 Selma projects plugging along

The intent today was to post a video of the I-35 SAMMC project, showing the detour route on the northbound I-410 connector to northboung I-35 ... but the camera doesn't want to work, so that didn't happen. That also means there's no available up-to-date pictures of the project (nor are there any of the I-35 Selma project), so we'll have to stick with the good, old-fashioned art of writing....

I-35 Selma

Paving crews are working on specific locations on Loop 1604 (between Pat Booker Road and Lookout Road), working in the shoulders and generally leaving travel lanes alone. That's going to change Tuesday, Feb. 4, when crews repave the frontage road from about the IHOP restaurant to the Red Robin restaurant.

For that work the frontage road will close for the full day - project managers responsible for the paving are saying it will take a full 10-hour shift to accomplish - and traffic will be diverted onto the Loop 1604 entrance ramp. Drivers looking to get to stores at The Forum at Olympia Parkway may still enter the shopping center at the IHOP.

Meanwhile, the general contractor is keeping his focus on the exit and entrance ramps he's working on. This includes the northbound exit ramp to FM 1518, which is closed right now and targeted to be reopened in March. Traffic headed to FM 1518 has been using the Olympia Parkway exit and doesn't need to pass through traffic signals to reach its destination.

Other ramps impacted by work are the northbound exit to Olympia Parkway, which remains open while crews work in the shoulder area. One lane of the northbound I-35 frontage road is closed for this work, which is adding a lane to the exit ramp. The other ramp being worked on is the southbound entrance ramp from Evans Road. That entrance ramp is closed, but traffic is able to enter the southbound main lanes of I-35 before reaching Forum Parkway and without going through additional intersections.

Once these three ramps are finished, crews are expected to move to the remaining priorities on the project - including the south-to-north turnaround at FM 3009 and sidewalks. Meanwhile, concrete crews are staying busy building concrete traffic barrier at a handful of locations along the project.

I-35 SAMMC

The first thing to know about this project - and, really, the most important thing to know - is the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour. TxDOT staff driving the area set cruise control at 55 MPH and watch cars blow by at rates of speed higher than 70 MPH.

Again: The posted speed limit from Randolph Boulevard to George Beach is 55 miles per hour. San Antonio Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are routinely patroling the area, and they will let you know the speed limit has dropped. That message may cost you some money; this message is free. Decide now which one you'd rather pay attention to....

That's not the only change to traffic in the area. The speed limit change is "old news" ... we announced that back in mid-November. More recently we've put in place a "detour" route on the northbound I-410 connector to northbound I-35.

The connector feels a lot more like a main lane, really, because it stays at ground level. It doesn't bridge over much of anything; it is, however, just a single lane. It always has been, in fact. In that respect, we haven't changed anything about what traffic experiences out there. We still have a single lane connecting northbound I-410 to northbound I-35.

However, we closed the entrance ramp near Greatfare Road. It's the ramp that captures traffic from Binz-Engelman and the industrial facilities in the area. The traffic load on the ramp is relatively minor - mostly truck traffic during off-peak hours - but the elimination of the ramp has, for now, made a huge difference in the efficiency of traffic flow. We'll call it addition by subtraction for the time being.

Beyond that, we've got excavators preparing to expand the southbound main lanes at Rittiman Road; we've got crews building up the support structures for the future connector from southbound I-35 onto southbound I-410; we've got crews clearing the way and building support structures for ramp improvements near Randolph Boulevard. At this point the work is moving on pace to finish the project as projected at the end of 2016.

For now, though, TxDOT staff on the project and the workers building the road have one united plea for drivers: Please slow down and drive more carefully.

This means putting away the cell phones and paying attention to what's happening. We've had a number of crashes in the area - almost all due to the speed of drunk or unattentive drivers - that could easily have become extremely tragic. In one case, a car was discovered crashed into some steel bars crews work with daily. Those steel bars were some 50-60 feet away from the roadway, which was a 45 MPH curved ramp. The driver would have had to be traveling at an extreme rate of speed or would have had to deliberately try to hit the rebar in order to accomplish what was done.

The scariest part of that? Had the crash not happened during the very early hours of morning - had the crash occurred during regular working hours - no fewer than two workers would have likely been hit by the car.

Please remember: these work zones are our office. We have the same desire everyone else holds to return to our families safely each day after work. Please help us accomplish that goal by slowing down and paying close attention. Don't tolerate drunk driving, and don't allow anyone to text while driving.

Wednesday, January 29

FM 306 and other Comal County projects

FM 306

Work on the FM 306 expansion project, featuring two overpasses seperating road traffic from railroad traffic, began in March 2012 and is running at a pace that would allow the contractor to finish very early.

In fact, if everything works out well enough, the work could finish more than six months ahead of the project's more-than-two-year estimated schedule.

However, crews are running into occasional blocks. They're currently working to get underground AT&T lines out of the way between Lighthouse Drive and I-35. The contractor working with AT&T is trying to keep up with the overall TxDOT schedule, which is outpaced by Hunter Industries.

Another issue contributing to what some might call a delay - again, the project is running on pace to be finished significantly early - is a design issue regarding a detention pond near the Hunter Road railroad overpass. The work we are doing there impacts the way some of the water drains and flows, and the drain structures - like a detention pond there - are critical to minimizing our impacts.

Initially, the Hunter overpass was scheduled to be built first - that is, at the very outset of the project - to allow residents west of the overpass a clar and easy bypass of the railroad in emergency situations. As it stands, the route to I-35 is almost totally blocked for residents near the River Chase subdivision and other developments in that area when a train comes through. Building the western overpass would change that.

Relatively easy alternate routes exist for those seeking to get around the railroad crossing near Goodwin.

When the design issues arose on the western overpass, project supervisors determined to do work at other locations on the project. That's led to the near-completion of the overpass near Goodwin Lane and the quick work of the road expansion between Hunter Road and Common Street and between Goodwin and I-35.

Now that the design issues around the detention pond are resolved, though, work on the western overpass is moving quickly. The project superintendent hopes to be agle to set bridge support beams mid-February. That work will require the total closure of FM 306 at the site, but that closure will be overnight only. We'll be sure to let everyone know what's happening when that time comes.

Here's the big, overall vision for progress: We want to have traffic moving over both overpasses in time for the Easter holiday. That may yet prove difficult, but it's the aim we're working toward. In the meantime, expect a major traffic switch between I-35 and Common Street Thursday. That's January 30.

What we're doing is putting traffic onto the outside lanes, opening up the roadway that's been in use for planned work. We'll still have a single lane in each direction, those lanes will just be seperated by the active working area. This shouldn't impact the daily traffic much, but it will require drivers to be more aware of surroundings. In March we hope to have the median-area work finished and be able to open traffic up a bit more (or at least switch traffic to a more normal-feeling configuration).

Left turns at Hunter Road will remain illegal until the entire intersection is reconstructed - and that should mean late this summer. We'll do what we can to be sure signs are in place to let folks know to take Common Street to reach Historic Gruene.

U.S. 281

We're still working on a solution to the issue revolving around the Post Office in Spring Branch, which is holding up work at that location right now.

Again, while it's holding up work folks should know the contractor is on pace to finish the project in half the time projected by TxDOT. There are no actual delays on the project, just issues hampering the pace Hunter Industries is trying to keep.

Right now, the future northbound lanes have been graded out (meaning the dirt substructure for the road, but not the actual asphalt) to within a few yards of the south wall of the Post Office. On the north side, the road has actually been paved with base layers of asphalt. If the Post Office was removed, traffic would likely be using the new lanes in a few short weeks.

With that issue still being resolved, crews are focusing on a small area at the southern tip of the project. Last week a strip of asphalt tying the future southbound lanes of traffic into the existing lanes near Adobe Village retail center was put in place. This allowed the contractor to remove some of the barrier in the area, which opens some accessibility for the patrons of those businesses.

Work continues at full speed near Gass Ranch and on Coyote Ridge; project bosses are trying to have the road ready for use by the end of the summer, if everything works out favorably. The TxDOT-projected finish date is late 2015.

Seguin Avenue

With most of the detention pond on the east side of the underpass in place, work on the detention pond directly under the railroad overpass has begun. The drain system is being built in three phases, and this marks the second phase.

The biggest milestone on the project - that is, the biggest signal of progress - should be in place mid-February. That's the installation of the new railroad bridge, which will look much like the old bridge. Support structures are nearly finished, allowing the actual bridge to be set in place. The bridge is a single-span steel structure that's been prefabricated off-site.

When the new bridge is built and tied in for rail traffic, the shoo-fly detour will be taken down. Meanwhile, construction of the roadway below will continue marching forward.

To aid that march, last week crews closed the intersection of Seguin Avenue and Nacogdoches - sending traffic through the Faust Road intersection instead - to prepare the intersection to match elevations of the new roadway. What does that mean? It means with the widened road, we're softening the downhill ride through the underpass - which means we had to cut down some of the roadway at the Nacogdoches intersection.

We're still on pace to have the underpass opened up for use again this spring.

Tuesday, January 28

Icy weather freezes construction

All construction projects in Bexar County have been put on hold through Wednesday (meaning they'll go back to action Thursday morning) in order to make all TxDOT hands available for the winter weather that's blown through the area in the last few days.

This happened last week as well, impacting work on Friday. With construction projects shut down last Friday, today and tomorrow (work moved forward as normal through the weekend and on Monday) all TxDOT inspectors and project managers were utilized in efforts to keep the roads as safe as possible for drivers in the metro area.

Some projects in outlying areas, like Kerrville and New Braunfels, were similarly impacted.

Just for those curious, here's a look at the resources reported to have been used in the San Antonio region:
  • 184 employees actually clearing the roads
  • 16 deicing trucks deployed
  • 16 front-end loaders deployed
  • 43 dump trucks to spread sand and chat
  • 36 pickup trucks deployed
  • 2 tandem trucks with sand and chat
  • 4 digital signs mounted on trailers and trucks
Again, that accounts for work done in just the last 24 hours as we worked to keep the roads safely open for traffic. Our priority is to keep roads open - and safe - and our guys did a heck of a job doing that. Just for perspective: our crews were working on the ice issues today beginning at midnight Monday night, and our operations center wasn't called down until noon today. Those folks deserve a hearty congratulations for their work.

At any rate, the biggest impact of ice on construction this week (and last) is the stoppage of work for three days. The decision is based on a desire to keep everyone associated with the project - from the drivers that move through the work zones and the workers on site - safe. The decision was also intended to free up state resources to do that which is most important for San Antonio drivers right now.

In terms of actual project impact, three days is extremely minor. This won't cause any delay on actual work (temperatures were too low to pour concrete or lay asphalt anyway), and work will continue Thursday.

With that, stay safe. Remember, when it's cold and potentially icy:
  1. Reduce your driving speed
  2. Increase your following distances
  3. Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses
  4. Be aware of and stay back from working vehicles clearing and treating roadways
  5. If you start to slide, ease of the gas pedal or brakes and steer into the direction of the skid
  6. Avoid any unnecessary travel

Friday, January 24

Next week's construction-related closures

Interstate 10
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Westbound frontage road between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to enter and exit the road and haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Eastbound frontage road between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to enter and exit the road and haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound frontage road between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to enter and exit the road and haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound frontage road between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to enter and exit the road and haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
 
Monday-Friday, January 27-31
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
 
Interstate 35
Monday-Wednesday, January 27-29
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Northbound frontage road between Rive Lane and Benton City Road (south Bexar County)
All lanes will close, including the north-to-south turnaround, while electrical contractors install new wiring. Expect delays.
 
Interstate 37
No closures scheduled
 
Interstate 410
No closures scheduled
 
Loop 1604
No closures scheduled
 
U.S. Highway 90
Tuesday-Friday, January 28-31
7 a.m. until 5p.m. daily
Main lanes, both directions, two miles surrounding the Guadalupe River (Seguin)
Traffic will move to one lane in each direction, using the westbound lanes, while crews pour concrete. Expect delays. This closure will only impact two full days, but weather has caused project supervisors to request a larger time range for planning purposes.
 
U.S. Highway 281
Friday-Monday, January 24-27
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. continuous
Northbound frontage road between Nakoma Drive entrance ramp and Bitters Road (north San Antonio)
All lanes will close while crews construct a storm drain system. Traffic will use Country Parkway and Maltsberger Lane to reach its destination. Expect large delays.
 
Monday, January 27
8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Northbound frontage road between Arion Parkway and Maltsberger Lane (north San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews pour sidewalk.
 
Other roads
Tuesday, January 28
9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
State Highway 173 at the UPRR crossing (Devine)
The highway will close while railroad crews work on the crossing. Traffic will use the crossings at Herring Avenue and Dilley Avenue to reach its destination.
 
Thursday-Friday, January 23-February 28
8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily (Monday-Friday only)
West Avenue at Wurzbach Parkway (north San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close in each direction while crews build the West Avenue overpass bridge for Wurzbach Parkway. Expect delays.
 
All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Thursday, January 23

Ramps are the name of the game on I-35 Selma, I-35 SAMMC

The biggest news on I-35 is that the northbound exit to FM 3009 was opened more than a week ahead of schedule.

Crews working for Dan Williams Construction opened the finished exit ramp (we added a lane to the ramp) overnight January 22-23. The ramp was closed less than two weeks ago for reconstruction. The contract allowed DWCo to keep the ramp closed as much as three weeks for the work; that deadline was shattered and the contractor will earn the maximum incentive of about $5,000 per day for five working days for reaching the milestone.
The new northbound exit to FM 3009 adds a lane to the frontage road, giving drivers a little more room to situate themselves as they approach the busy intersection. The new entrance ramp from Schertz Parkway, shown here, also reopened.
The northbound entrance ramp from Schertz Parkway was also reopened. But as one ramp opens another is closed. The northbound exit to FM 1518 was closed, and will not reopen until early spring while crews widen the ramp and add some barrier. The ramp will remain with a single lane, but the ramp is being given some extra room to improve safety for those driving the area.

With the completion of the milestone, Dan Williams' project supervisors are shifting their focus onto the entrance and exit ramps remaining on the project. In addition to the exit ramp to FM 1518, crews are working on retaining walls and barriers for the southbound entrance ramp near Retama Park.
The northbound exit to FM 1518 will remain closed about a month while crews widen and improve the ramp.
The northbound exit to Olympia Parkway is getting an additional lane as well, though crews are committed to keeping it open as long as they can. The current plan involves an overnight closure to tie the work they're doing now to the existing ramp; that closure isn't planned until at least March.

Just as ramps are the focus of work for the DWCo crews on the I-35 Selma project, Lane Construction crews on I-35 SAMMC are spending the majority of their efforts on ramps. Some of this work has a daily impact on traffic, and planned changes over the weekend will impact Monday morning's commute.

As of this morning, crews are working on:
  • A temporary exit ramp from southbound I-35 to George Beach
  • A temporary entrance ramp from Rittiman to southbound I-35
  • The support structures for the future connector from southbound I-35 to southbound I-410 (this is the biggest change with this project; the left-side ramp will be moved to the right side of the road when work is finished)
  • The foundation for the northbound frontage road exit to Thousand Oaks.
 
Work near the future Thousand Oaks ramp is well underway.
Sunday night Lane is switching traffic on northbound I-410 to a detour; really, traffic will be shifted over a bit and squeezed as it connects with I-35 just north of SAMMC.  We've got some major closures scheduled through the weekend (see last week's lane closures post), but expect to be out of the way by Monday morning. Still, folks driving through the area may want to add 5-10 minutes to their commute to ensure they reach their destinations on time.
The support structures for the new connector from southbound I-35 to southbound I-410 are quickly going up.
We have also closed the existing entrance ramp near Greatfare Road, which serves traffic coming from the turnaround at the railroad crossing. Most of the traffic in the area is industrial, so it won't impact a large volume of traffic; but those affected will need to go through Rittiman Road before entering the highway.

Wednesday, January 22

Major closures, major openings and more progress on Wurzbach Parkway


Beginning this week—Wednesday, actually—alternating lane closures will be used on West Avenue to allow bridge crews to begin constructing the West Avenue overpass.
 
A single lane will close between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., ensuring crews will stay out of the way of peak traffic rushes. While only single lanes will close, those driving the area should be aware the closed lane will change from day to day. Bridge crews will be setting bridge deck panels, overhang brackets, tying steel reinforcement frames, pouring the bridge deck surface and building the roadway barrier rail. The east-to-west turnaround of Wurzbach Parkway will also close
Over upcoming weeks, bridge crews will complete the West Avenue overpass bridge.
The closures on West Avenue will continue until the end of February. Project bosses hope to have the overpass finished by mid-March, though it won’t be in use until the full center segment of Wurzbach Parkway is finished.

The overhead highway sign structures have been the biggest factor behind keeping the Blanco Road overpass closed. These structures should be put up by next week, allowing the overpass to open.
While opening the Blanco Road overpass remains a priority for staff at all levels of management at TxDOT, the solution for the bridge deck surface issues and overhead highway signs that have kept crews from opening the bridge are still pending.


Crews responsible for erecting the overhead highway signs are scheduled to be on-site to do their work by the first of February. Once the overhead signs are in place we’ll be able to open up the overpass for traffic.
 
That could happen as early as the middle of next week.
 
The support structures of these signs have been the biggest reason for not opening the overpass at this point. The structures are being stored along the parkway, creating a potential safety hazard for those who might be driving along the road should the structures be left in their places. Sign-hanging crews were waiting on a new design for bolt placement, signed and sealed by an engineer, to place the signs.
 
Project supervisors explored the option of moving the structures, but the cost and resources necessary to do so simply made moving the structures off-site prohibitive.
 
The Blanco Road overpass ride quality – that is, the smoothness of the ride over the bridge – is another issue still being discussed. TxDOT is committed to ensuring the product delivered to the public meets a certain level of quality, and the bridge deck isn’t quite there yet. Officials with Liberty Mutual, the surety company that insured Ballenger Construction before that contractor went bankrupt in 2012, are discussing with TxDOT administration to determine the long-term solution for the ride issues.

The bridge deck surface may not be perfect, but it's safe. Project supervisors are intent on opening the overpass; future closures may be employed, if needed, to resolve issues with the bridge deck surface.
All other major work has been finished on the western segment. Contractors may be out cleaning up the area over the next few weeks – including addressing graffiti issues on the parkway. As you see them, please be courteous of them and slow down while the crews do their work.
 
Dirt crews will close the northbound frontage road of U.S. Highway 281 between Country Parkway and Maltsberger Lane this weekend to build an underground drain structure crossing the road. The frontage road will close Friday night at 9 p.m. and reopen in time for Monday’s morning commute.
 
Drivers in the area should use Country Parkway and Maltsberger Lane to reach their destinations; this route has been used for similar closures in the past.
 
The drain structures will connect the inlets that have been built along the outside shoulder of the frontage road with the massive culvert built between the main lanes and the frontage road near Bitters Road, improving drainage for the whole area. When the new structure is in place, road crews will build a temporary entrance ramp for traffic coming from Nakoma Drive.
 
The temporary ramp will allow crews to begin building the braided ramps to be located in the area, serving traffic driving from Nakoma and the parkway onto northbound U.S. 281 and traffic exiting U.S. 281 at Bitters Road.
 
It will also signal an uptick in activity near Nakoma Drive, where the new exit ramp to Wurzbach Parkway—which is a relocation of the current Bitters Road exit ramp—will be opened for use mid-February.
 
The center segment of the parkway, connecting West Avenue and Jones-Maltsberger, is on track to be complete in 2015. Among the last portions of that project, as anticipated today, is the completion of the parkway’s overpass at U.S. 281.

Tuesday, January 21

Walls, walls, more walls (and other I-10 Huebner stuff)

In order to let you know what we're talking about, here's the run-down of topics discussed at this week's update meeting between TxDOT folks and Webber Construction project bosses:

Retaining walls near Huebner Oaks:
We're waiting on data collected from a test soil nail, and the guys working on that wall have given TxDOT a verbal confirmation a positive production plan is in place to advance work on the wall. Some issues with equipment have plagued this retaining wall, but the equipment that's been busted is reportedly repaired and in good shape.

Detention ponds near DeZavala Road:
The first pond has been waterproofed and work on the second pond is starting. Though waterproffing a pond sounds oxymoronic, the process is intended to keep the water in the pond and routed through the drain structures in the area. This reduces chances of potentially damaging erosion that would wash away the roadway once we're all done. Only two ponds are in the plans, so completing the first puts us about halfway finished with these parts - and potentially gives us light at the end of the tunnel to free up those crews to work in other areas.

One of the tasks we're waiting on the first pond to get going on is the ability of crews to tie the first major drain system into the ponds.

Westbound overhead highway signs between Wurzbach and DeZavala roads:
The subcontractor is waiting for the soil nail walls to be built in the areas before foundations can be drilled out.

Retaining walls near UTSA Boulevard:
Texas Highways, the subcontractor working in the area, are bringing some extra crews to speed up the process of work in this area. Those driving on the westbound frontage road have noticed the heavy excavation for these walls, and some crews are getting close to putting in actual panels to make up the wall structure. This, really, is the only action happening between DeZavala and UTSA Boulevard right now - at least on the westbound side; retaining wall work between the frontage road and the main lanes. On the eastbound side we've got retaining wall work and the detention ponds.

Traffic control plan modifications:
Over the last few weeks Webber Construction has been using regular lane closures on the frontage roads to allow trucks to enter and exit the roadway. These closures have impacted traffic around the clock, avoiding peak traffic times.

These closures, however, weren't in the original traffic control plan. They've been needed in order to preserve the safety of everybody in the area. Generally speaking, drivers don't look out for trucks leaving or entering the road. That causes backups on the job (and work delays) and the potential for crashes.

Webber has submitted plan sheets showing these closures as a revision to the project's traffic control plan, making these closures an official part of the project. Again, these closures will not be implemented during peak traffic hours, but we do anticipate them to happen around-the-clock as work progresses.

Temporary digital message boards between Loop 1604 and UTSA Boulevard:
In the upcoming weeks, a subcontractor should begin work on a temporary digital message board location near Gunn Honda along the eastbound lanes. The work will construct a temporary message board tied to the TxDOT TransGuide system, allowing us to provide drivers with a variety of messages as needed. Once work begins in February, the temporary signs should be up and operational in a few short weeks.

The next three weeks:
By the end of January, project supervisors are hoping to be finished with the demolition and tie-in work involving the walls near Huebner Oaks Shopping Center. This opens up opportunities for drain system work to begin early February and for concrete crews to form and set the backfill foundation of the retaining wall system in this area.

The roadway widening along the eastbound main lanes near UTSA Boulevard has reached a point subgrade will be laid down, with work on that and an erosion-preventing embankment over the upcoming three weeks. Crews are hoping to have that widened portion of roadway ready for traffic this spring.

Work on the first detention pond should be finished by the end of the month, with excavation for the second pond starting up as early as this weekend. The process to build these ponds can be lengthy, but we're hoping to be done really quickly so we can move into the next major phase of work at DeZavala Road.

Weather issues:
With falling temperatures this week, asphalt and concrete work will slow. Our specifications require temperatures of at least 60 degrees to lay asphalt, and temperatures of at least 40 to work with concrete. As our share of the winter blast hitting the northeast today, our temps will fall below those limits by Thursday ... and that may hinder our work by just a few days.

Safety:
Our contractors have been reminding truck drivers to keep tarps on their loads to ensure safety for all those on the roadway. We don't want materials flying out of the back of a truck and catching an unsuspecting driver on the road. Trucks who aren't following the rules of securing their loads are being turned away.

Upcoming closures:
For the immediate future, we'll see closures that match what's happened lately. Most of that is alternating closures overnight between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard ... and, of course, the closures on the frontage roads between UTSA Boulevard and DeZavala Road discussed earlier.

Friday, January 17

Next week's construction-related closures

Interstate 10
Monday-Tuesday, January 20-21
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Westbound exit to Woodstone Avenue (northwest San Antonio)
The exit will close while crews set barrier. Traffic will use the DeZavala exit and turnaround to reach its destination.
 
Monday-Tuesday, January 20-21
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Eastbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews set VIA crash barrels.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Eastbound frontage road between Loop 1604 and Fredericksburg Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Westbound frontage road between Fredericksburg Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews lay pipe.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound frontage road between Fredericksburg Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close to allow trucks to haul materials.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and Fredericksburg Road (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound main lanes between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
 
Interstate 35
Sunday-Monday, January 19-20
9 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Southbound frontage road between Randolph Boulevard and Fratt Road (northeast San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
 
Sunday-Monday, January 19-24
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Forum Parkway and Evans Road
Alternating lanes will close while crews construct the center median and overhead sign structures.
 
Monday-Thursday, January 20-23
9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Southbound main lanes between Rittiman Road and southbound I-410 (northeast San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews excavate dirt from the shoulder area. This closure includes the entrance ramp from Rittiman Road. Traffic will use next available ramp.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Northbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and Fisher Road (south Bexar County)
Alternating lanes will close while crews remove traffic barrier and stripe the road lanes. Expect minor delays.
 
Wednesday-Friday, January 22-24
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Northbound I-35 between Schertz Parkway and FM 3009 (Schertz)
The two right lanes will close while crews remove barrier to open the exit ramp to FM 3009.
 
Interstate 37
No closures scheduled.
 
Interstate 410
Sunday-Monday, January 19-20
9 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Northbound exit ramp to southbound I-35 (northeast San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews set barrier. This closure includes the exit to Randolph Boulevard. Traffic will exit Starlight Terrace and take turnaround to reach its destination.
 
Monday-Thursday, January 20-23
9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Northbound main lanes between Binz-Engleman and Rittiman Road (northeast San Antonio)
The left lane will close while crews move and reset barrier.
 
Sunday-Monday, January 26-27
9 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Northbound main lanes between Binz Engleman and Rittiman Road (northeast San Antonio)
The left lane will close while crews move and reset barrier, moving traffic onto a temporary detour route. This closure will include the entrance ramp from Binz Engleman. Traffic will use the next available ramp.
 
Loop 1604
Friday-Sunday, January 17-February 2
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions) between Bandera Road and Culebra Road (northwest San Antonio)
The right lanes and shoulders will close while crews survey the work area for an upcoming project. Expect minor delays.
 
Tuesday-Saturday, January 21-25
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Main lanes, both directions, between Potranco and Culebra roads (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the asphalt. Expect delays.
 
U.S. Highway 90
No closures scheduled.
 
U.S. Highway 281
Saturday, January 18
6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Southbound frontage road between Winding Way and Bitters Road (north-central San Antonio)
The left two lanes will close while crews remove barrier. Expect delays.
 
Saturday, January 18
6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Southbound frontage road between Interpark and North Park Drive (north-central San Antonio)
The right two lanes will close while crews remove barrier. Expect delays.
 
Saturday, January 18
6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Northbound frontage road between Arion Boulevard and Maltsberger Lane (north-central San Antonio)
The right two lanes will close while crews remove barrier. Expect delays.
 
Other roads
Saturday-Sunday, January 18-19
9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Wurzbach Parkway, both directions, between Wetmore and I-35 (northeast San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the asphalt. Expect delays.
 
Sunday, January 19
6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
FM 1518 at I-35 (Selma)
The intersection of FM 1518 will close while crews install storm drain structures. Cross traffic will use the I-35 frontage roads and turn around at Schertz Parkway or at Evans Road. Expect delays.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
7 a.m. until 5 p.m. continuous
Seguin Avenue at Nacogdoches Road (New Braunfels)
The intersection of Seguin Avenue and Nacogdoches Road will close while crews reconstruct the intersection as part of the Seguin Avenue project. Traffic will use the intersection of Faust Road to reach its destination.
 
Monday-Friday, January 20-24
8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Fredericksburg Road, both directions, between Louis Pasteur and Data Point (Medical Center)
The left lanes will close while crews work on a temporary storm sewer structures. This closure includes the center left-turn lane.
 
All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Tuesday, January 14

I-10 Huebner - not just soil nail walls

Over the last several months, planners with Webber Construction have been working on wrangling the retaining walls between DeZavala Road and UTSA Boulevard as well as a wall where the old westbound entrance ramp near the Huebner Oaks shopping center was located.

These walls are soil nail walls - they use long anchor pins burrowed deep into the dirt. Other retaining walls use drill shafts or even I-beams to hold up a wall, which protects an excavated dirt face from spilling out. Soil nail walls use long pins (some as long as 50 feet or more) to anchor the retaining wall to the dirt face, keeping the worked area in place.

Work on the soil nail walls has been ongoing for more than a year, split between Webber's crews over most of 2013 and the crews employed by Ballenger Construction before Ballenger defaulted on the project in 2012. Over the last several weeks, crews have begun to make measurable progress and are nearing completion. All but one wall - the small wall along the old entrance ramp on the westbound side - should be finished within the next few months.

Well, the soil nail part of the wall will be finished. Webber will still have panels to set and the actual wall portion of these structures to build. With walls complete - hopefully sometime this spring, for most of the walls - work on the additional lane of traffic under UTSA Boulevard and just west of Fredericksburg Road can be built. What's more, work on the third major milestone of the project will be started.

Next big thing

Milestone three will push the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic between UTSA Boulevard and Huebner Road together onto one side of the highway while the other side of the highway is built. During this phase, the auxiliary lanes over DeZavala Road will close. Three lanes will be maintained in each direction, though those lanes will be narrowed.

The start of milestone three is tentatively slated for early spring. That, of course, is pending completion of the retaining walls near UTSA Boulevard and DeZavala Road.

Fredericksburg Road overpass

Several drivers have reported a rough drive using the center lane of eastbound I-10 over Fredericksburg Road. The joint between the halves of the bridge, left by the work done mid-2013 by Webber Construction, created an uneven path. Honestly, it's pretty bumpy. It's driveable, but it's pretty bumpy.

The contractor has worked out a solution to the issue and is submitting the proposals to TxDOT for review. We're hopeful to have an agreement for the correction soon, allowing Webber to get in and actually fix the ride quality of that center lane as soon as next month. That is, if the proposal from Webber is approved.

Illumination

A subcontractor is beginning work on temporary illumination along the project, and should have things in place by mid-February. The old poles will be removed late February.

This lighting work is going between UTSA Boulevard and Fredericksburg Road. Removing the lights will allow crews to remove the barrier and move traffic over for milestone three.
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