It's been a few weeks since we've looked at the projects in and around Comal County ... time to get everyone updated and up-to-speed. We'll try to keep things to the point....
This project is winding down, and should be complete - totally complete - by the end of July. Representatives of Dan Williams Company have indicated they'll have crews working on the turnarounds at FM 3009 over the next two weeks and hope to have it in play by mid-July. Right now their focus is squarely on the main lanes of I-35, which are being resurfaced and striped with overnight work.
The turnaround at FM 1518 also remains, but should be built along with the turnaround at FM 3009.
Questions have abounded about the timing on this project. We are examining the impacts of events beyond the control of the contractor (including design issues and weather-related delays), and may credit that time to the contractor as appropriate. Given the circumstances, TxDOT engineers doing these reviews indicate they may conclude the contractor was able to successfully perform the work within the allotted time (adjusted for these delays).
That's a round-about, technical way of saying the project is still running on time.
Mark your calendars for July 7. It's that date that Hunter Industries has set aside to close the driveway for the truck stop on Loop 337 so they can rebuild the road in that area. The closure should last only a few short weeks, and when that work is done the contractor plans to move traffic onto the new asphalt. The current asphalt will be torn up to allow the road to be rebuilt.
All told, Hunter is aiming at having the road reconstruction finished somewhere around the end of August or early September. If that happens, the whole project (which expands the overpass bridge at Loop 337 and I-35 to handle the added capacity brought, in part, by the truck stop) could be done as early as October. That would be at least three months earlier than anticipated.
There are factors that could knock that goal back a bit, but for right now that's the target.
The rock face facade on the retaining walls has taken a little longer than anticipated. Austin Bridge Company hoped to be finished with the project last week, but they are looking now at being done by the end of July. That's not just an optimistic aim, either. With most of the infrastructure finished up - as well as the last pieces of the retaining wall facade being put in place - all that will remain by the end of next week is a final layer of asphalt and pavement markings. Well, that and a few other adjustments.
Bottom line: this project will be complete by the end of July.
Most are well aware of the overpasses at the two railroad crossings. Hunter Industries has also tweaked the traffic signals at Common Street, optimizing traffic flow.
We're dealing with some conflicts with AT&T in the area still, and that's slowing the pace a bit. Even still, the folks at Hunter are aiming for early 2015 to be finished with everything. That still looks extremely doable.
This project was just awarded to Hunter Industries, and expands FM 1101 between Hwy 46 and the extension of FM 306 on the north side of New Braunfels.
We're aiming at early fall to begin work. This will go through two - two - school zones, so folks commuting to those schools should be aware of changing conditions as we begin work.
U.S. 281 Comal
The biggest question here is how we're going to get around the U.S. Post Office in Spring Branch. Once that question is answered, the project will be able to wrap up pretty quickly. In fact, we're eyeing a completion date of this fall - something like nine months earlier than we had planned at the start of the project.
That said, we still need to figure out the Post Office issue. We've got a couple of ideas on the table, but we need to iron out the costs associated with these plans. We're doing so with the constant reminder these solutions are temporary. When the USPS is able to vacate the building, we'll go back and finish the job as it was originally planned.
U.S. 281 and Hwy 46
Those out in Bulverde know of the barricades we've got in place for a project that adds turnarounds on U.S. 281 at Hwy 46. CRG - that's the name of the contractor - has halted work for a while because they're trying to renegotiate the way the project is constructed. We're doing our best to work with them and get them working as quickly as possible.
Because work could resume any day now, we can't remove the barricades that were put in place and restripe the roadway. That would cost us quite a bit of money, and could have to be undone in a simple matter of days. We know it's frustrating to see the barricades without much going on, but for now we're a bit stuck.
Back to New Braunfels for a moment....
The Walnut Avenue job is still in the middle of a 180-day delay to allow for utilities to be adjusted. We're aiming right now at getting work going early 2015. Between now and then, folks may see utilities crews out there adjusting lines as appropriate. At least, we hope that's seen by folks.
I-35 at FM 306
Another new project to be awarded is a project that will realign the exit and entrance ramps along I-35 between FM 306 and Conrads/Kohlenberg north of New Braunfels. This project has been awarded to The Dan Williams Company, and is slated to begin (most likely) early 2015. We've got a bit of a delay built into the project for utility adjustments. The project is pretty straight-forward, and should take less than a year to construct.