Two weeks ago, Sundt Construction had three plans - Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.
We're now working Plan D, which accelerates the work and condenses closures so that the havoc will be felt through this week:
Wednesday-Thursday (Dec. 3-4)
At 9 a.m. Wednesday crews will close the Ralph Fair Road overpass to switch traffic off the old bridge and onto new lanes built over the last few months. The bridge will remain closed through the Wednesday evening rush hour, but Sundt will have the new lanes open for use in time for the Thursday morning commute.
During the bridge closure traffic will cross I-10 at Fair Oaks Parkway or at Boerne Stage Road, where officers will be positioned to help ease the flow of traffic. The frontage roads near the intersection will be limited to a single lane.
Those who work and live in the area should prepare for delays.
Friday-Monday (Dec. 5-8)
Friday at 9 p.m. crews will close all lanes of I-10 at Ralph Fair Road, as well as the Ralph Fair Road overpass bridge, to allow for the safe demolition of the old bridge. Traffic at Ralph Fair Road in each direction and pass through the intersection, then re-enter the highway. Officers will be posted at the intersections of Ralph Fair Road and I-10 to keep traffic flowing.
Traffic on Ralph Fair Road will use Old Fredericksburg Road to reach Fair Oaks Parkway or Boerne Stage Road. This is the same closure and detour that has been employed at this location twice already.
Traffic will be returned to normal in time for Monday’s morning commute. Please note: we know the last two times we finished up early - even finishing by the end of Saturday. Do not expect an early finish this go-round. The work required will take all weekend to accomplish. More on that in a moment.
Why we're going with this plan
The fact is we've reached a point in the project that, without the traffic switch and the demolition of the old bridge, Sundt can't really do much work. Weather thwarted our plans in November to reach these stages, and we know we could run the risk of weather in December as well. Because of our desire to avoid high-traffic weekends later this month, we simply couldn't afford to plan the work over weekends only and run the risk of a rain-out. That scenario could have effectively shut our project down most of the month of December (or, worse, all of it).
So ... we're under a time crunch. We need to get the work done. So we're pushing to get it all done this week, with the traffic switch being done mid-week and the major work over this weekend.
The weekend's work
Demolition of the bridge deck will follow a lengthy process. Again, do not expect an early completion of the weekend work. Plan on us being out there Friday night until Monday morning.
Friday night, once we have the main lanes shut down, we'll haul in dirt and sand to create a soft bed under the existing bridge deck. This is designed to soften the landing for the concrete that will fall from the old bridge, protecting the asphalt on the main lanes.
With the bed of sand and dirt in place demolition crews will begin cutting and breaking apart the old bridge. This includes the bridge support columns in the highway median. While some of the cleanup will happen as we go, the major clean-up operation will be the last bit of work to finish up (and typically takes the longest to complete).
With this weekend's planned work finished, no more major closures will be needed in 2014. This plan is, of course, dependent on weather.