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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.


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.