Tuesday, October 7

Wurzbach Parkway progress

"I do intend to have everything complete by the end of the month."

That was the declaration of the project superintendent with Texas Sterling Construction, which is constructing the parkway between Jones-Maltsberger and Wetmore. All that's remaining on the project, they say, is some concrete repair on the parkway near Jones-Maltsberger, the completion of a median barrier near the city's brush dump site and lane striping.

That, and the punch list. The first copy of the project's punch list (to-do items needing fixed, addressed, or some finishing touches) was distributed Tuesday morning.

The concrete repair requires the use of some special steel and may take as long as two weeks, but other tasks can happen concurrently. The only thing that could lag and push the project beyond Halloween for completion is the final segment of median barrier. That work has to wait until Texas Sterling is ready to put traffic on the parkway between Jones-Maltsberger and Starcrest, and the barrier itself will take at least a week to construct.

Realistic estimates show the project could be completed with workers (and equipment) moved off the prjoect by early November. Traffic could be using the parkway as early as mid-October with the finishing touches still being done.

The final segment

The last segment of Wurzbach to finish will extend from West Avenue to Jones-Maltsberger, and that is on schedule to be finished mid-2015.

Right now, Williams Brothers Construction is working on the U.S. 281 overpass at Bitters Road, preparing the bridge for a bit of extra space on the southbound side. With utilities companies working to put in drain structures along the southbound frontage road, work on the new entrance and exit ramp between Bitters and Nakoma are on deck to be built, with major work to start within the next two weeks.

As for the Wurzbach Parkway overpass at U.S. 281, crews are using overnight closures this week and next to set bridge deck panels (large concrete plates that form the body of the bridge deck). This week crews will work over the northbound lanes, and next week they'll move over onto the southbound side. Once the panels and overhang structures are in place, bridge crews will be ready to set the steel reinforcement cages and then pour concrete.

While work on the parkway itself is cruising - most off the actual roadway is already built, and a casual observer might think the road is nearly ready for use - the work along U.S. 281 needs to finish up before we can seriously think about a specific end date on the job. That work includes the heretofore mentioned exit and entrance ramps on the southbound side, the new south-to-north turnaround at Nakoma, a reconstructed north-to-south turnaround at Nakoma, the new Wurzbach Parkway exit on the northbound side, the new Bitters Road exit on the northbound side, and the new entrance ramp on the northbound side. Each of these items are under work right now, and should be finished in 2015.