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Thursday, October 9

I-35 SAMMC project advancing to next phase

Crews with Lane Construction have been working on the I-35 expansion (and relocation of the southbound exit to southbound I-410) for about a year, and over the next month folks will see a huge number of major changes. Each of these changes mean closures.

Here's a run-down of what we'll see happen, chronologically:

October 18
We'll have a full closure of the northbound main lanes between Binz-Engleman and Rittiman Road while crews pour concrete to form the bridge deck for the new southbound ramp to southbound I-410. That ramp bridges over the northbound main lanes, and when we pour concrete we like to close the lanes underneath. The idea is to keep any debris or wayward concrete from hitting cars below....

At any rate, if this is your typical route, you'll want to find another way to go. Traffic on I-35 will take exit 163, then follow the frontage around to southbound I-410, then turn around at Binz-Engleman, then reenter the road north of Rittiman Road.

This will mark a major step closer to having the new connecting ramp - which will have a right-hand exit, keeping truck traffic from sweeping several lanes to reach the current left-hand exit - ready to open. That ramp is scheduled to open late 2015 at the earliest.

October 19-24
This is a residual of the October 18 bridge deck pour. Expect overnight closures of the right lane of northbound I-35 - again, between Binz-Engleman and Rittiman Road - while crews finish off that concrete pour.

October 24-27
This is the scheduled start - and end - of a milestone that will require crews to shut down the ramp connecting eastbound I-410 to Crestway (in the Windcrest area). The exit ramp will be open and traffic will be able to connect to Starlight Terrace, but those trying to connect directly to Crestway will need to take another way. That other way is likely to be Starlight Terrace to Early Way Drive, then a left onto Sherri Ann Road, then a right onto Randolph Boulevard,


Here's an easier way: Wiedner Road to Randolph Boulevard.

The closure will allow Lane to rebuild the ramp. The work is straightforward, but can't be done without shutting the ramp down entirely. Work will begin late Friday night and Lane will have the ramp reopened before Monday's morning commute.

October 31/November 1-November 3
This is another weekend-long closure, this time at Rittiman Road. We'll have Rittiman completely closed at I-35 while Lane works on the Rittiman Road overpass. Traffic through the weekend will turn right onto the frontage road, then turn around at the next turnaround to reach its destination.

This will be tricky for folks on eastbound Rittiman; they'll need to follow the northbound I-35 frontage road into the southbound I-410 frontage road, turn around at Binz-Engleman, then continue up the northbound I-410 frontage road to Rittiman Road.

The work at Rittiman should be a big deal; some issues with the plan sheets have postponed the work a bit, and our contractor has been rally raring to go there. We're widening the bridge a bit to make room for the new exit ramp we talked about above.

You'll notice this work is planned for "October 31/November 1". We're discussing the issue with project bosses ... but we do want to be sure to avoid any traffic associated with Halloween.

Overall schedule
For those wondering, our overall schedule shows we're right on pace to be finished on time. The overall completion date on this project is late 2016.