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Wednesday, November 19

Traffic switch on Ralph Fair Road at I-10

We know that we're looking at pretty much a 100 percent chance of rain - and a good amount of it - for Saturday, but we're still planning to switch traffic on Ralph Fair Road at I-10. There's a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C in place right now. We should have a final plan on what's happening nailed down by midday Friday. Here are our plans, so you can be prepared:

Plan A (pending weather)

Saturday morning, November 22, Sundt will shut down the Ralph Fair Road bridge and the left half of the frontage roads (both sides) approaching Ralph Fair Road. Crews will spend the weekend laying asphalt on the frontage roads approaching the intersection to tie in the new bridge.

By late in the day the traffic lanes of Ralph Fair Road across I-10 will be striped to use the new bridge structure, and crews will have everything opened back up by Sunday morning.

Plan B (pending availability of crews/materials)

Saturday evening, November 22, Sundt will shut down the Ralph Fair Road bridge and the left side of the frontage roads (both sides). Work to move the lanes on the bridge would begin Sunday, November 23, and Sundt would have the new bridge ready for traffic by Monday morning's commute.

Plan C (if we get lots of rain this week and weekend)

Basically we'll go with Plan A, pushed back to Saturday, December 6. The reason for pushing it back so far is to avoid Thanksgiving weekend. If we can avoid impacting big travel weekends like that, we certainly do.

The detour route

Whatever plan we go with, the detour route will be relatively simple: traffic from Ralph Fair Road will be pushed north/west to Fair Oaks Ranch Pkwy to turn around, then continue on to its destination that way. If you're coming from the Boerne area to reach Ralph Fair Road, you'll go to Boerne Stage Road and use the intersections to turn around, then use Old Fredericksburg Road to get back to Ralph Fair Road.

The frontage roads will be limited to a single lane at Ralph Fair Road, so expect traffic to pinch and back up a little bit. We will have officers strategically positioned to keep traffic flowing the best we can, so please be patient as you go through and know we really are paying attention and trying to get you where you need to go.

Looking ahead

Once we get traffic moved off the old bridge and onto the new bridge, crews will begin preparing for the demolition of the old bridge. That demolition will happen on the next available weekend after getting traffic switched at Ralph Fair Road. That means Plan A/B would mean the demo work would happen December 5-8 and if we push to Plan C the demo work would happen December 12-15.

The demolition of the old bridge will require a full closure of I-10 main lanes, just like we've done a couple of times before. The difference is this time Sundt won't be able to speed through the process and finish in a matter of hours. Bridge demolition like this will require a few feet of dirt and sand laid on the roadway before anything begins - this dirt and sand protects the I-10 road surface from major damage caused by falling chunks off concrete. Once the bridge is demolished and the debris is cleared ad hauled away, the road would need to be cleaned off.

It's a laborious process, and we anticipate needing every bit of the Friday night through Monday morning schedule when the time comes.

Again, that's (Plan A/B) Friday, Dec. 5 through Monday, Dec. 8 or (Plan C) Friday, Dec. 12 through Monday, Dec. 15.

Look for a tweet Friday telling whether we'll be using Plan A, Plan B or Plan C. Our Twitter feed is at http://www.twitter.com/TxDOTSanAntonio.
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