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Monday, June 30

A quick round-up of the weekend, week ahead

First thing's first:

U.S. 281/Wurzbach Parkway

Thank you to everyone who patiently assisted with this weekend's work on U.S. Highway 281 at Wurzbach Parkway. The closure was, no doubt, an inconvenience for many. Traffic volumes through the detour area were much lower than they could have been.

That, we believe, is the direct result of folks spreading the word and planning ahead. To all of you who helped in that, thank you.

A big thanks as well to the folks with Williams Brothers Construction and to our own construction personnel on the project. We'll have more to say after visiting with the contractor tomorrow, but by all accounts the work was done much faster than anticipated. Special recognition to folks like Mike Rogerio, Justin Wiatrek and Lloyd Mair - the TxDOT personnel who oversaw the work this weekend. Theirs is an often thankless job, and they spend several long hours away from their families working to help you get home to yours more quickly and safely.

With everything opened back up on U.S. Highway 281, we've now got some news on Loop 1604 and on a few other projects....

Loop 1604 VSL's

For starters, the variable speed limit signs are now active along west-bound Loop 1604. These speed limits can range from 30 MPH to 70 MPH, and can change in increments of 5 MPH. The idea behind these is to help folks ease into congestion points, making travel overall much safer than normal. Rather than having to suddenly stop as drivers approach congestion at 70 miles per hour - risking potential rear-end collisions - drivers will be eased into such pinch points with speed limits that gradually taper down to the slower speeds.

Remember: these speed limits are enforceable, and representatives of San Antonio Police Department can remind you of the regulatory nature of these signs if you've ignored them.

New projects

Next, with the end of the month comes the award of contracts to contractors. June is an active month in terms of project bidding, and a number of projects were approved by the Texas Transportation Commission.

More will be written later this week on this, but highlighting the list of projects in the San Antonio District are resurfacing projects on I-10 (between downtown and New Braunfels Avenue) and on I-410 (between Medina Base Road and I-35). We've also got a project on I-35 in Comal County on tap; we're adjusting some of the entrance and entrance ramps between FM 306 and Conrads-Kohlenberg Road.

More on that stuff later this week, though.

Independence Day

As we approach the Fourth of July, we have two brief messages:

First, we will not have active work zones near traffic areas through the weekend. We chalk it up to high traffic volumes for the holidays, and we shut most of our projects down. This means no closures during the holiday weekend.

Second, please celebrate responsibly. Drive responsibly, too! Don't tolerate drunk driving, or texting while driving. Figure out where you're going ahead of time, or pull over to send or receive your text messages. Help us make this an enjoyable and fatality free weekend!

That's it for now. More tomorrow!

Saturday, June 28

Hwy 173 ramps (Hondo) to close next week

The ramps from U.S. Highway 90 to Texas Highway 173 will close July 1 and reopen in time for Fourth of July weekend traffic in order to allow crews contracted by the Texas Department of Transportation to repair the pavement base of the roadway.

Detour markers will be posted to route drivers onto Highway 173 during this closure.

The work is part of a $1.2 million project that will repair and resurface U.S. 90 between Avenue C and a point about a mile and a half out of Hondo. Ramming Paving Company, of Austin, will do the work. The project is scheduled to finish by the end of August, as long as weather cooperates.

When work at the Highway 173 ramps is finished, Ramming will be able to focus on the remainder of U.S. 90. That work will require occasional closures – one or two lanes at a time – through the summer. Drivers should expect minor delays during these closures.

Friday, June 27

Next week's construction-related closures

Please note we will not have any closures over the Fourth of July weekend. Also, please note the closures on U.S. 281 this weekend, and the closures on I-10 tonight. We plan to have all main lane closures on I-10 picked up and out of the way by 7 a.m.

Interstate 10
Friday-Saturday, June 27-28
8:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Westbound main lanes between Huebner and DeZavala roads (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews widen the road at the area of the Woodstone exit ramp. The ramp will be closed as part of this closure. Traffic will use the next available ramp. Expect delays.

Friday-Saturday, June 27-28
8:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
Eastbound main lanes between DeZavala and Huebner roads (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt. Expect delays.

Monday-Wednesday, June 30-July 2
9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily
Westbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Loop 1604 (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier and lay pipe. This closure includes the exit ramp to Woodstone Drive. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around. This closure includes the east-to-west turnaround at Huebner Road. Traffic will move through the intersection to turn around.

Monday-Wednesday, June 30-July 2
9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily
Eastbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Loop 1604 (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier and build storm drain. This closure includes the exit and entrance ramps around DeZavala Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around.

Monday-Wednesday, June 30-July 2
8:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Westbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Loop 1604 (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier and place asphalt. This closure includes, as needed, the exit ramps to Woodstone Drive and DeZavala Road and the entrance ramp from UTSA Boulevard. Traffic will use the next available ramp. Expect delays.

Monday-Wednesday, June 30-July 2
8:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Eastbound frontage road between Huebner Road and Loop 1604 (northwest San Antonio)
Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier and build storm drain. This closure includes the exit and entrance ramps around DeZavala Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around.

Sunday-Wednesday, June 29-July 2
8:30 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 move barrier and place asphalt. This closure includes, as needed, the DeZavala exit and entrance ramps and the Fredericksburg exit ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around.

Sunday-Wednesday, June 29-July 2
8:30 p.m. until midnight nightly
Westbound main lanes between Huebner Road and UTSA Boulevard (northwest San Antonio)
The right lane will close while crews widen the road at the DeZavala entrance ramp. This closure includes the westbound entrance from DeZavala Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp.

Interstate 35
Sunday-Thursday, June 29-July 3
9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Judson Road and Evans Road (Live Oak)
Alternating lanes will close in each direction while crews resurface the roadway.

Interstate 37
No closures scheduled.

Interstate 410
No closures scheduled.

Loop 1604
Saturday-Monday, June 28-30
1 a.m. until 5 a.m. continuous
Main lanes, both directions, between Emory Peak and Spurs Ranch/Big Mesa (far west Bexar County)
The left lane will close while crews resurface the road. Expect delays.

Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Main lanes, both directions, between Emory Peak and Spurs Ranch/Big Mesa (far west Bexar County)
The left lane will close while crews build sidewalk. Expect delays.

Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3
9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Main lanes, both directions, between Emory Peak and Spurs Ranch/Big Mesa (far west Bexar County)
The left lane will close while crews resurface the road. Expect delays.

Monday-Thursday, June 30-July 3
9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily
Main lanes, both directions, between Emory Peak and Spurs Ranch/Big Mesa (far west Bexar County)
The left lane will close while crews mill and overlay the road. Expect delays.

Monday-Monday, June 23-July 7
9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily
Main lanes, both directions, between Culebra and Bandera roads (northwest San Antonio)
Varying lanes will close while crews prepare the work zone. Expect minor delays.

U.S. Highway 90
No closures scheduled.

U.S. Highway 281
Friday, June 27
7 p.m. until midnight
Northbound main lanes from I-410 to Bitters Road (north-central San Antonio)
The left lane will close to act as a staging areas for trucks hauling bridge support beams.

Friday-Monday, June 27-30
11:59 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. continuous
Northbound main lanes and frontage road between Nakoma Drive and Bitters Road (north-central San Antonio)
All lanes will close while crews place bridge beams for Wurzbach Parkway. Traffic will exit Nakoma Drive, turn right onto Nakoma, turn left onto Jones-Maltsberger, turn left onto Bitters Road and turn right onto U.S. 281 frontage road to reach its destination. Expect long delays.

Saturday-Monday, June 28-30
4 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. continuous
Southbound main lanes between Bitters Road and Nakoma Drive (north-central San Antonio)
All lanes will close while crews place bridge support beams for Wurzbach Parkway. Traffic will exit Bitters Road and go through two intersections before reentering the main lanes. Expect long delays.

Other roads
Sunday-Thursday, June 29-July 3
8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Fredericksburg Road, both directions, between Louis Pasteur and Data Point (Medical Center)
Alternating lanes will close while crews build bridge support structures and storm drains. Expect delays.

Sunday-Thursday, June 29-July 3
8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly
Medical Drive, both directions, between Fredericksburg Road and Ewing Halsell (Medical Center)
Alternating lanes will close while crews work on the road. Expect delays.

All planned lane closures are pending weather. 

Tuesday, June 24

I-10 closures this weekend

Update June 25:
Due to slowed production in the recent wet weather, the weekend closures on I-10 and at DeZavala will be pushed back to July 11. The westbound ramp work will be done as weather permits over the next week or thereabouts.

In addition to the closures on US 281 this weekend, one of our contractors will close lanes on I-10 to do significant bridge work at DeZavala Road. Let's look at the closures, then we'll talk about what's being done:

- Tonight (pending weather) Webber Construction will close the westbound ramp to Woodstone Drive. It will reopen by morning. When it reopens, it will have two lanes.

- After the Woodstone ramp is expanded and open, the current westbound exit to DeZavala will permanently close. 

- All but one lane of eastbound I-10 is scheduled to close Friday night at 11 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m. Saturday.

- DeZavala Road will close at I-10 Friday night rough Monday morning.

- The turnarounds under I-10 at DeZavala Road will close for a year, beginning Friday night.

- The eastbound exit to DeZavala has been closed a few weeks already, and will reopen at the end of this summer.

- Eastbound and westbound main lanes will be limited. To three 11-foot lanes for the next year, beginning Saturday morning.

So ... Why are we doing this? Part of the expansion of I-10 between Huebner Road and Loop 1604 includes widening the DeZavala overpass bridge. We are also raising the bridge and making it just a bit longer to meet geometric requirements. This means knocking out the old bridges and building new ones.

This Saturday we will demo the first side, the side currently carrying eastbound traffic.

Any hiccups in production - heavy rains are expected all week - will push this closure until July 11.

Wurzbach Parkway - the rest of the road

Williams Brothers' plan to set bridge support beams over U.S. 281 isn't the only work item along the Parkway; while bridge crews are preparing for that work, dirt crews are building roadway base for the westbound frontage road between U.S. 281 and West Avenue and concrete crews are forming and pouring structures at a number of locations - including alond U.S. 281.

The bridge beams work is discussed in yesterday's post. Today we'll talk about the rest of the road.

We've got electricians and utility crews working on a variety of tasks along the parkway, including the intersections of West Avenue and Wurzbach Parkway and at Jones-Maltsberger and Wurzbach Parkway. We've also got crews building drain inlets along the frontage roads of Hwy. 281.

On the east end of the parkway, Texas Sterling Construction crews are focusing on the Mud Creek area and finishing work at the intersection of Starcrest and Wurzbach. The eastern segment is still on track to finish this fall.

Monday, June 23

Major closures on U.S. 281 this weekend

This is going to be the granddaddy - it's the biggest, most anticipated closure associated with the Wurzbach Parkway extension project.

The Parkway is being built on undeveloped land, so the closures to date have been pretty minor. For the most part, that is. But now we need to hang bridge support beams over U.S. Highway 281.

This weekend Williams Brothers Construction will close all of the southbound main lanes, northbound main lanes and northbound frontage road of U.S. 281 between Nakoma Drive and Bitters Road.

If you read that correctly, you'll note that only the southbound frontage road will be active.

Friday night, around midnight, bridge builders will shut down the northbound main lanes and frontage road - again, between Nakoma Drive and Bitters Road. The southbound main lanes will close 4 a.m. Saturday.  These closures will allow crews to use a special hydraulic crane to do the work in the unique working area.

Before that happens, the left lane of northbound Hwy. 281 will close from I-410 to Nakoma beginning Friday at 7 p.m. to provide a staging area for trucks loaded with the bridge support beams.

Everything will reopen Monday morning in time for the morning commute.

Now that you know what's happening, let's talk about navigating through what will be, no doubt, a very frustrating traffic mess.

Southbound US 281 main lanes

You'll need to exit Bitters Road, then go through the intersections at Bitters Road and at Nakoma drive - we'll have officers posted there - and reenter the highway to go about your business. Remember we only have one lane entering the highway after Nakoma, and backups will be pretty huge.

A better way: Try I-35, Blanco Road or Nacogdoches.

Southbound US 281 frontage road

No change for you in terms of route ... but you will be joined by some 100,000 cars moving through the area each day. Expect backups on feeder roads as a result, like Bitters Road and Interpark.

A better way (if going east toward U.S. 281): Try West Avenue to Wurzbach Parkway, then get on Blanco Road.

Northbound US 281 main lanes

Traffic will exit Nakoma Drive and follow the posted detour route. That route includes Nakoma Drive, Jones-Maltsberger and Bitters Road. These roads are all controlled by traffic signals, and the traffic volumes will be overwhelming.

A better way: Try Nacogdoches, Blanco Road or I-35.

Northbound US 281 frontage road

This is the closure that makes the main lane closure tricky. Remember: this corridor sees better than 100,000 cars each day. All those cars - and all those that would be on the frontage road - will be using the side streets. The frontage road will be closed, particularly at the point Wurzbach crosses (or will cross) US 281.

However, we understand businesses need to do business, and several businesses line the northbound frontage road in this closure area. Those headed to the car dealership or to Arion Parkway will be able to do so using West Coker Loop. Those trying to visit businesses a little further north will need to use Nakoma, Jones Maltsberger and Bitters to reach Heimer Road and Maltsberger Lane.

A better way: Nacogdoches or Blanco Road.

Eyes wide open

Our engineers are going into this closure with full awareness of the impact it will likely have across the city. We anticipate impacts on I-410, I-35, I-10 and Loop 1604 because of this closure. However, doing this closure once like this will allow us to get the work necessary done in one weekend rather than spread major closures along the corridor over several weeks (potentially delaying progress on the project, and making more than just one weekend rough for our neighbors).

We will need some closures (though not as major) of Hwy. 281 to do more bridge work as it comes. Those closures will be announced as needed.

As a reminder, heavy work is planned for I-10 at DeZavala this weekend - potentially slowing traffic significantly there as well. Note I-10 is not recommended as a viable alternate route to US 281 for the weekend.

The bright spot

If weather cooperates with Williams Brothers Construction, we could easily see work progress quickly and find ourselves reopening lanes much sooner than the above timelines allow. Though it's not much consolation, it's a bright ray of hope for those living in or around the area: we could well be done with this closure early. If so, be sure to thank the guys with Williams Brothers Construction.

Tuesday, June 17

I-10 Huebner report

Last weekend crews with Webber Construction closed lanes of I-10 between UTSA Blvd and Huebner Rd to do paving work that will get the area ready for the next major phase of construction. The closures were picked up at around 10 a.m., though we had approved them to be out there until noon.

That and other recent closures have been experimental as we've worked with the contractor to speed up work on the job. We learned a few lessons, including just how heavy traffic is during the late-evening commute on eastbound I-10. We will avoid main lane closures earlier the 8:30 p.m. moving forward. As for Saturday daytime closures that are out of the way by noon, we may occasionally give Webber the go-ahead - for instance, this weekend we'll see a Friday night into Saturday morning closure like last week - but we will try to not make a habit of it.

We will be allowing nightly closures of eastbound I-10 - that's total closures of the main lanes - through the week with the exception of Wednesday night (Spurs celebration). The idea is to hurry along prep work to get into that next big phase, which will mean major traffic switches at DeZavala Road. Crews will shut lanes down at 8:30 p.m., with at least one lane open unto midnight. At midnight the road will be totally closed, and lanes will reopened by 5:30 a.m.

The traffic shift on I-10 at DeZavala is planned for June 27, assuming planned work this month is done in its appointed time. Recent weather events could disrupt this schedule, but we are hoping it doesn't. Before. We get there, Webber will be working on the eastbound exit to DeZavala, which has been closed for a few weeks already. That exit will remain closed, though work to rebuild it will likely be done much sooner, until early fall. We've got some concern with the proximity if the exit ramp to a temporary entrance ramp from UTSA Blvd. The permanent ramps will be spaced well enough, but we have issues with the temporary ramps. Until the permanent entrance ramp is built, we'll keep the exit closed.

The westbound exit to DeZavala will permanently close June 19. Those headed to DeZavala will use the Woodstone exit ramp, which will have two lanes exiting at Woodstone. Webber is also adjusting the entrance ramp from Huebner, and a temporary ramp will be opened the middle of next week. The current westbound entrance ramp, up on top of the hill by Joe's Crab Shack, will be closed.

All of those changes get us ready for the big shift starting June 27. The plan for the weekend is a bit complex, and will impact traffic through the entire weekend:

Beginning Friday (June 27), Webber will close all lanes of DeZavala Road at I-10. This includes the turnarounds on both sides. Traffic will use the turnarounds at Huebner Rd or UTSA Blvd to reach its destination. Crews will close lanes of eastbound I-10 (the number of lanes hasn't been determined yet - that's being discussed) to begin demo work on the eastbound bridge.

Pedestrians will not be allowed through the intersection during this weekend.

Eastbound main lanes will reopen early Saturday morning, but the DeZavala intersection will stay closed until late Sunday night. The turnarounds at DeZavala will remain closed for about a year - they are being moved and rebuilt, and will be open when they are completed.

Loop 1604 work

Loop 1604 northwest

The design-build project on Loop 1604, which expands the loop to an expressway with overpasses at Braun, Shaenfield and New Guilbeau roads, is moving ahead at full steam. That's even despite the rain storms over the last couple of weeks.

Last month Leslie Road was converted to a one-way road between Shaenfield and Culebra, and local residents are getting accustomed to the new traffic configuration. Crews with Williams Brothers Construction have been adding a temporary widening on Leslie - now effectively the southbound frontage road - to provide some added space for work to be done. The road needs to be rebuilt to meet TxDOT specifications - until now it's been a city road - and match the improvements planned to the area.

Tree trimmers have cut back mesquite trees and other brush that would have been in the way of work, particularly where the southbound frontage road near New Guilbeau will go and along the future northbound frontage road throughout. Those trees that have been removed have been mulched. A few large oak trees - known on the project as 'legacy oaks' have been preserved and sprayed to protect against oak rot.

With trees out of the way, dirt is being moved to form the footprint of the northbound frontage road.

Meanwhile, dirt crews are working - and will be working for the foreseeable future - on the embankment (big dirt mounds) at Braun Road. Because of the room in the center median there, Williams Brothers is moving forward with what will be the overpass structure there. Adjustments to the ramps will need to happen as well.

For now, the everyday driver won't be impacted by the work happening. Planned lane closures are typically at night only, and only a single lane here or there (to set barriers, for instance) at that.

Marbach overpass

Well, there's not a whole lot to say about this project besides we're almost done. We expect to have the overpass open and in use - one lane in each direction - and our project completed in July. We have some minor concrete work to do and some asphalt to lay, and that's about it.

A huge credit to Capital Excavation for working hard at this project for the duration of this project.

Monday, June 16

This week's construction-related closures

Interstate 10

Monday-FridayJune 16-20

9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily

Frontage road, both directions, between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)

Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier, place asphalt, lay pipe and build storm drain. This closure may include temporary closures of turnarounds, highway entrance or exit ramps, as needed. Expect delays.

 

Monday-FridayJune 16-20

9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly

Frontage road, both directions, between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)

Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier, place asphalt, lay pipe and build storm drain. This closure may include temporary closures of turnarounds, highway entrance or exit ramps, as needed. Expect delays.

 

Monday-ThursdayJune 16-19

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 move and reset barrier or place asphalt. This closure includes the occasional closure of the UTSA exit ramp, the DeZavala exit ramp and the entrance ramp from DeZavala. Expect delays.


Monday-FridayJune 16-19

8:30 p.m. until midnight nightly

Eastbound main lanes between DeZavala Road and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)

Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews place asphalt. This closure includes the ramp to Fredericksburg Road. Traffic will exit Huebner Road to reach Fredericksburg Road. Expect delays.

 

Tuesday-SaturdayJune 17-21

Midnight until 5:30 a.m. nightly

Eastbound main lanes between DeZavala Road and Huebner Road (northwest San Antonio)

All lanes will close while crews place asphalt. Traffic will exit onto the frontage road and reenter the highway. Expect long delays.

*Note the preceding two eastbound main lane closures are nightly, and are progressive. Crews will begin by closing two lanes down each night at 8:30 p.m. and, at midnight, will close all lanes of eastbound I-10. This includes Friday night into Saturday morning. All lanes will be reopened by5:30 each morning.

 

Interstate 35

Monday-FridayJune 15-20

9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly

Southbound main lanes between Evans Road and Judson Road (northeast San Antonio)

Alternating lanes will close while crews pave the road. Expect delays.

 

Monday-FridayJune 15-20

9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly

Northbound main lanes between Highway 218 and Evans Road (northeast San Antonio)

Alternating lanes will close while crews pave the road. Expect delays.

 

Interstate 37

No closures scheduled.

 

Interstate 410

No closures scheduled.

 

Loop 1604

Monday-FridayJune 16-20

9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly

Main lanes, both directions, between Big Mesa and Emory Peak (far west Bexar County)

The left lane will close in each direction while crews mill and repave the road. Expect delays.

 

Monday-ThursdayJune 16-19

9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily

Main lanes, both directions, between Big Mesa and Emory Peak (far west Bexar County)

The left lane will close in each direction while crews widen the road and build sidewalk. Expect delays.

 

U.S. Highway 90

No closures scheduled.

 

U.S. Highway 281

No closures scheduled.

 

Other roads

Sunday-FridayJune 15-20

8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly

Fredericksburg Road, both directions, between Louis Pasteur and Data Point (Medical Center)

Alternating lanes will close while crews install storm drain lines and build bridge support structures. Expect delays.

 

Sunday-FridayJune 15-20

8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly

Medical Drive, both directions, a Spyglass Hill Condominiums (Medical Center)

Alternating lanes will close while crews form and pour sidewalk and move barrier. Expect delays.

 

All planned lane closures are pending weather.

Thursday, June 12

Fred-Med update

Since the traffic shift on a Medical Drive two weeks ago Texas Sterling Company has been aggressively moving on utilities lines along what will be the eastbound lanes of Medical. This includes adjustments to water, sewer, gas, cable, phone and power lines along the road, as well as storm drain lines.

The storm drains are actually finished west of Fredericksburg Road - as of tonight, at least - and crews are starting to move across Fred Road. That work is done at night and requires nightly lane closures.

Once all the utilities lines are in, just like what was done on the westbound side, crews will begin working on the actual roadway that will provide access to Fred Road for those using Medical. TSC bosses are trying to hit the eastbound side more aggressively than the westbound side, taking full advantage of summer weather.

Major excavation for the main lanes of Medical, running under Fred Road, will likely start in August. The actual bridge will be built to the side of Fred Road and slid into place. That work is on schedule for this fall. 

The overall project completion is set for early 2015.


Wednesday, June 11

I-35 SAMMC progress

Lane Construction is busy setting whatever bridge support beams that can be set at the interchange of I-35 and I-410 near SAMMC. The beams forming the new connector from southbound I-35 to southbound I-410 are already in place. 

The remaining nights this week crews will be setting beams to make up the bridge that will carry northbound I-410 over a new exit on northbound I-35 to Rittiman Road. Nightly closures will be used to allow this work to happen.

Other schedule highlights:

Crews are working on curbs and lighting for the widening at Fratt Road. Concrete pavement blocks are nebeing built on the southbound main lanes near George Beach, with concrete pouring this week. Storm drain improvements in the center median south of Rittiman Road are being built. The bridge support column caps are completed for the planned bridge near Thousand Oaks. 

The biggest two items to note for next week and beyond:

Major main lane closures will be used by the contractor to remove overhead highway signs Wednesday night or Thursday night (exact dates will be nailed down and published later this week). This work will be done at night, so we will avoid impacting daytime traffic.

Also, alternating lanes - as many as two lanes at a time - will close nightly for the next several weeks while bridge crews work on the new connecting ramps overhead. Again, this is overnight work only, but may well still impact traffic somewhat significantly.

As a reminder, the speed limit through the area is 55 MPH. We are still having a tough time helping people understand this, as speeds through the area routinely top 75 MPH. 

Tuesday, June 10

I-35 Selma project update

No project currently active in the San Antonio district elicits more inquiries right now than does the improvement of I-35 between Loop 1604 and FM 3009. The project is in its 20th month of activity and is winding down to total completion.

Posts on the project earlier this year promised the project would be finished "by the end of the school year". At the time those declarations were made, that was indeed the target. Well, the school year has ended ... and work continues.

Complications with equipment and resources, coupled with questions regarding the design of the center median barrier near Cibolo Creek, have pushed our overall completion back a little more than a month beyond what was expected.

So ... what's being done and what is left to do? Let's break it down area-by-area....

Exit and entrance ramps

The northbound exit ramp to Olympia Parkway was the last exit to be finished up, and was completed in the last week or so. As for other ramps on the project....

The ramps between FM 1518 and Schertz Parkway have long been adjusted for efficiency. The northbound dual-lane exit to FM 3009 is finished. The northbound exit to Forum Parkway - the braided ramp running over the ramps from Loop 1604 onto northbound I-35 - is finished, as are the ramps from Loop 1604 running underneath.

Main lane resurfacing

This was a particular portion of the project that needed to be done in order to help with the glare issue we had on the lane striping. Daily commuters will be familiar with the way the sun hit some of the old and new striping at certain times of the day. This glare led to some confusion about actual lane alignments from time to time. We tried a number of solutions to the issue, but ultimately it's the resurfacing work that provides the real fix.

With the main lanes resurfaced - which is being finished up right now, and will last through next week - the new lane striping will clearly delineate the lanes at all times of the day.

So, what kept us from doing this sooner? The center median barrier. We needed to have that finished before we could lay the final surface of asphalt, and we ran into a few snags in the process of finishing that last stretch of barrier near Cibolo Creek. Now the barrier is done, we're in business and finishing up.

Frontage road resurfacing

We're all done with this! In fact, crews have recently removed all of our portable barrier and traffic is flowing freely.

Turnarounds

Ah, the turnarounds. We have four turnarounds on this project. The first was on Loop 1604 at Lookout Road, and it's been done for about a year. We have a south-to-north turnaround at FM 1518, and we have two turnarounds at FM 3009.

Well, the north-to-south turnaround at FM 3009 was finished and put into use earlier this year. The thought at the time was the contractor would then be able to focus on the south-to-north turnaround, but the concrete crews involved with that work were needed elsewhere.

With little else remaining to complete, crews are now working on the remaining turnaround at FM 3009, and some are also working on the turnaround at FM 1518. The contractor's remaining crews are dedicated to these areas, and we expect them to wrap up in July.
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