We're hitting a point in the year where many of our projects are preparing for major traffic switches, and it's important everybody be on the same page, er, in the same lane. So ... here's a look at what to expect over the next month or so:
Perhaps the most major traffic shift upcoming is on I-10 near DeZavala Road. Webber Construction is planning to shift all lanes over onto the current westbound side of the DeZavala overpass bridge in June. This will mean going from three lanes each way plus the auxiliary lane to just three lanes each way. That means traffic entering the highway will do so directly into an active lane; entering and exiting traffic won't have its own lane. The six lanes that will remain active will be narrower than what's out there now - about 11 feet wide each.
This shift will last for about a year, though at the six-month mark the six active lanes will be scooted over onto a new bridge structure making up the future eastbound lanes.
Next week Texas Sterling Construction will begin phase two of their work, requiring a major traffic shift. This shift won't really impact daily commuters a whole lot in terms of drive time, and we're not reducing traffic lanes beyond what's already reduced on Medical Drive. The lane positions will change, though, and traffic will begin driving on the future westbound approaches to Fredericksburg Road.
Though not major, cutting out turnarounds is a pretty significant change in traffic patterns at some locations. This week Lane Construction dropped the north-to-south turnaround of I-35 at Rittiman Road, and they'll follow up by taking the south-to-north turnaround in about three weeks. These turnarounds will be closed at least three months.
While we don't have a traffic shift planned immediately on the parkway itself, we do have one coming soon related to work on the parkway. The good news is this shift will open up traffic a bit, reflecting a near-complete product.
On Jones-Maltsberger, Texas Sterling Construction is preparing to open up traffic to four lanes - two lanes each way - at the Wurzbach Parkway overpass. We've had J-M limited to a single lane each way for about two years now, a necessary traffic change designed to help crews build the new intersection with the parkway.
Oh, yeah ... this is scheduled to happen next week, if all goes well.
Leslie Road - a north-south parallel road running between Shaenfield and Culebra roads - will be converted to a one-way frontage road beginning May 19. This change will be permanent. (Leslie Road actually extends north all the way to New Guilbeau, but only the segment between Shaenfield and Culebra will be converted ... for now....)
Williams Brothers Construction is building the northbound frontage road on undeveloped land right now; the development of these frontage roads are the first major steps in the extension of the Loop 1604 expressway (that means we're building overpasses) between Bandera and Culebra roads.
Before the end of the month, Hunter Industries is hoping to have new overpasses ready for use, allowing traffic to permanently bypass the Union Pacific Railroad crossings on the north end of New Braunfels. These bridges will only feature one lane in each direction (both structures are intended to be the future westbound bridges; the eastbound bridges will be built once traffic is moved out of the way), but should provide immediate relief for traffic in the area.
Additionally, Hunter is working to open up FM 306 to a four-lane roadway between I-35 and Goodwin Road. This will help those accessing the local businesses quite a bit, and we're excited to be so far along on this project already!
Seguin Ave (New Braunfels)
In June, Austin Bridge and Road is hoping to have the remaining lanes of Seguin Avenue under the new UPRR crossing complete and ready for use. This will allow crews to open the road to four lanes (two lanes each way), offering relief to a pinch point that squeezes everyone into a single lane each way. This should help those headed to New Braunfels for summertime activities reach their destination unencumbered.