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Tuesday, July 29

Parkway Progress....

A minor traffic switch on Starcrest at Wurzbach Parkway and an upcoming milestone along southbound U.S. 281 highlight the latest developments on the parkway this week.

West Ave to Jones-Maltsberger

Saturday morning at 6 a.m. crews with Williams Brothers Construction will close the southbound entrance ramp from Nakoma Drive. The ramp will remain closed through the month of August; project bosses plan to have the ramp reopened in time for the North East ISD school year start if all goes well.

Two things to take not here - the one-day lane closures associated with the milestone and the detour route folks will use through August. First, the closures:

- two right lanes of southbound U.S. 281 main lanes will close Saturday only, 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., between Nakoma Drive and Rhapsody Drive, while crews place barrier. 
- one left lane of the southbound frontage road at Nakoma Drive will close Saturday only, 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., while crews place barrier. 

Again, the entrance ramp will be closed the entire month of August. If all goes well we'll have it reopened for the school year.

The detour route is going to sound counter-intuitive - kind of like when Lightning McQueen thought odd Hudson Hornet said the key to dirt-track racing is to turn right to go left in the Pixar movie Cars: to go south on U.S. 281 from Nakoma, you'll first need to go north. The posted detour will direct traffic north to Bitters Road, where folks will use the turnaround and enter the highway. Expect minor delays for this, and if this is a normal part of your routine you may wish to add five minutes to your travel time.

So much for the major traffic impacts. As for the stuff you can't see along the road, Williams Brothers is laying asphalt on what will be the westbound frontage road between U.S. 281 and West Avenue, marking the final area in the western segment of the parkway to be paved. Crews are constructing curbs, sidewalks and concrete barrier on this short stretch as well. Bridge crews are completing the overpass at Jones-Maltsberger, including the concrete paving sections east of J-M.

With more beams being produced for the structures near U.S. 281, we are hoping to have everything set by September - if weather and equipment cooperate. Once beams are in place, bridge builders will set bridge deck panels and form and pour the bridge deck over the highway.

We are still on pace to finish up mid-2015.

Jones-Maltsberger to Wetmore

Texas Sterling Construction is working hard to finish up the Mud Creek area and the future westbound lanes of the parkway between Wetmore and Mud Creek - a segment that could wrap up within a few weeks if weather and resources align right.

The biggest two developments are the opening of the Salado Creek Greenway connector at Mud Creek a few weeks ago and this week's traffic shift in Starcrest at Wurzbach Parkway. The traffic shift puts Starcrest in its final, completed configuration. Small work tasks remain, but the work on Starcrest is as good as completed.

Road builders and bridge crews are finishing the road between Starcrest and Old Bitters Road (or the city's brush dump), and concrete crews are finishing up a shared-use path along the parkway as well. That path, when complete, will effectively connect the Salado Creek Greenway to the Panther Creek area and Hardberger Park on Blanco Road.

Completion of the east segment is on pace for late fall of this year.