Tuesday, April 8

Wurzbach Parkway progress

Blanco to West Avenue

If you've driven through in the last week or so, you'll notice ... WE ARE DONE!!!

Well, substantially. We've still got some minor stuff going, and that may require some minor closures as needed.  Most of it is for aesthetic stuff; painting. Patching and rubbing concrete, that sort of thing.
Over the upcoming weeks, you may see trucks, like this TxDOT truck, and workers performing small tasks on the western segment ... but we are pretty much finished.
Besides that, we're done with the western segment, for all intents and purposes. Enjoy the roadway - including the Blanco Road overpass - and drive safe!

West Avenue to Jones-Maltsberger

Electricians are working on lighting at West Avenue while bridge crews are hard at work near Jones-Maltsberger. Well out of view, concrete crews are building a hike and bike trail under U.S. Highway 281.
Crews continue to work on stuff under U.S. 281; the beams going over the highway, though, won't be ready until later this summer.
But the bulk of the work on the center segment of the parkway is actually along U.S. 281. This includes work on the future northbound exit ramps to Wurzbach Parkway and to Bitters Road - that's two separate exit ramps, there. Underground utilities crews are working on what we call "lateral boxes" - drain boxes moving across the roadway - at both locations. Once the box is built under the future Wurzbach exit, which is easily seen under Nakoma Drive, that exit ramp will be finished up for regular use.

That will mean the current Bitters Road exit will be shut down.

The new exit to Bitters Road will be a braided exit, bridging the exit ramp over an entrance ramp funneling traffic from Nakoma and Wurzbach onto the northbound main lanes of Hwy 281. Drivers can see the bridge support pillars for the exit ramp already formed and built; the entrance ramp will run between the two sets of pillars.

The work being done is generally out of the way of the traveling lanes, so we don't anticipate closures for the foreseeable future. However, later this summer when we're ready to set beams over U.S. 281, we'll need to have closures in plenty. Those closures will be announced well in advance.

Overall, the center segment is on pace to finish mid-2015.

Jones-Maltsberger to Wetmore

Work is progressing at Jones-Maltsberger, with electricians scheduled to build the traffic signal poles at the new intersection later this week. The mast arms (with actual signals) will come later.

Work at this intersection is interesting; both contractors - Williams Brothers and Texas Sterling Construction - have major responsibilities. The structures on Jones-Maltsberger are the job of TSC, and WB is handling the entrance or exit ramps on the west side of Jones-Maltsberger as well as the overpass. TSC is pushing hard to finish work along the southbound side to be able to move on to work in the center of the road. WB's work on the southbound curbs and sidewalks should follow quickly behind.

The goal is to have the road open and fully operable by summer.

Meanwhile, with work building up the road structure across Old Bitters Road progressing well, Texas Sterling is getting ready to build the future driveways for the city's brush site. Traffic to the brush site will continue to use Old Bitters Road to reach the site, though, until the project is complete.
Crews work on a retaining wall forming the base of the parkway as it crosses through Old Bitters Road. Old Bitters now dead-ends at the parkway.
The Mud Creek bridge deck is scheduled to be poured later this month. The bridge deck for the west-bound lanes is the critical structure to have finished in order to open up traffic on the parkway to its full configuration between Wetmore and Starcrest. It's also the biggest obstacle to finishing the hike and bike trail connector for the Salado Creek Greenway. After the bridge deck and the bridge barriers are in place, work on the trail connecter will move forward. Once that connector is built - effectively connecting McAllister Park permanently to the rest of Salado Creek Greenway - the city's temporary signal and crosswalk near Buckhorn Drive can be removed.
Curbs forming a raised island for the entrance and exit to McAllister Park have already been built. When the parkway is finished, traffic will only be able to perform a right-in, right-out movement when going to or coming from the park.
Expect that trail shift to happen in June, if the project continues as planned. The overall completion for this segment is on pace for fall 2014 (later this year).