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Thursday, January 9

New Year, same hard push on Fred-Med

Since work began in the fall 2013, Texas Sterling crews have been pushing hard on the grade seperation project at the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Medical Drive.

Over the next three weeks we'll see dirt crews continue to work on the downhill side of Medical Drive while retaining wall crews will begin setting wall panels along the hill for the future westbound lanes of Medical Drive.

When the project is done, "main lanes" of Medical Drive will flow under Fredericksburg Road, but we'll have some exit and entrance lanes moving up onto Fredericksburg Road. The retaining walls our contractor are working on line the westbound exit ramp onto Fredericksburg Road.

On paper, the bulk of work going on right now involves utility work - moving and replacing storm drains, sewer lines and water lines. We've got some CPS Energy lines that are being moved as well, and CPS reps have been meeting with our contractor to ensure those moves are done quickly and smoothly.

Here's the bottom line: we're starting our fourth month of work on a 16-month project. The months we've pushed through are the wettest and coldest of the project, with about two more months of tough weather in front of us before we can push harder. At this point, the project is progressing on track with a very aggressive schedule.

For those interested in planning processes, we have crews pushing hard on Phase One work now and Texas Sterling already has subcontractors lined up to do prep work for Phase Two. Phase One is expected to wrap up later this spring.

The big indicator for most of those driving in the area is asphalt - when asphalt is being laid along the westbound side of Medical Drive, we're gearing up to transition completely into Phase Two. That road-building work will take a little more than a month once it starts, and we'll be doing other things as well when that work gets going. The idea is when we actually see the asphalt forming the westbound exit lanes, we're nearing Phase Two.

Though we're a few months out from this, keep in mind Phase Two will mean a traffic shift for those using Medical Drive. We'll actually put all traffic on Medical Drive onto our future westbound exit/entrance lanes. This will let our Phase Two work - which consists of constructing the future eastbound exit and entrance lanes, as well as preparing for the construction of the Fredericksburg Road bridge - happen in the areas traffic is currently driving on.

Those frequenting the area shouldn't see any major disturbances on their path to the South Texas Medical Center.
For now we'll continue working on drill shafts, retaining walls and water lines. This means folks won't see many lane closures - just the occasional overnight closures of a single lane here or there as announced each week in the weekly construction-related lane closures report.

Also, please keep in mind the posted speed limit here. The posted speed limit on Medical Drive is 35 MPH. That said, while driving through the work area remember we have some neighbors trying to turn into their driveways while construction activities continue. For the sake of us all and the sake of safety, consider slowing down a few miles per hour while you're driving through the work zone.