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.
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.