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Friday, October 31

Fred-Med update: Closure of intersection scheduled

With our engineering questions about the bridge slide answered, Texas Sterling Construction will close Fredericksburg Road at Medical Drive the night of Wednesday, November 5. Thursday morning's traffic will need to seek alternate routes (we'll discuss that later).

This means the new roadway surface for Fredericksburg Road - a bridge over the future through lanes of Medical Drive - will be slid into place by Saturday. Though Texas Sterling has two full weeks (that's 14 days) to get Fredericksburg Road reopened, we're hoping to have the work done and lanes reopened in almost half that time.

This is work that was initially scheduled for early October. However, some testing of the concrete supports needed to be done in duplicate and engineering plans for the work needed to be resubmitted by Texas Sterling. With those issues wrapped up this afternoon, project bosses gave their one-week's notice of the work proceeding.

Wednesday evening, expect to see single lanes of Fredericksburg Road - and some alternating closures on Medical Drive - as crews prepare for the work. At 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning we'll have Fredericksburg Road closed down entirely. No through traffic, and  no left turns, will be permitted at this location. Traffic trying to continue on Fredericksburg Road will turn right onto Medical, then follow appropriate city streets to reach its destination. Officially, our planned detour uses Wurzbach Road, the I-10 frontage roads and Callaghan Road.

Here's an alternate route, if you're looking for some help:

After the closure is implemented Wednesday night, excavators will tear out the existing roadway and uncover bridge support structures that were constructed underground (remember those huge steel plates across the roadway? that's what those were for...). If all goes well, crews could be ready to slide the bridge decks into place by Saturday morning.

The bridges are slid on rails lined with Teflon pads and lubricated with dish soap. We have two bridge decks to slide into place, and each takes about 8-10 hours to slide.

With the bridge in place, crews will work on getting the bridge dressed up and build traffic barricades along the edge of the bridge. It'll take another couple of days to have everything ready to have traffic back in place by the end of the following week.

Once the bridge is in place, Texas Sterling says we'll be pretty well done with overnight work; the remaining work will be accomplished during the day.

As always, major weather events or equipment issues can disrupt the schedule ... but we're working hard to plan for as many contingencies as we can.