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Wednesday, January 14

Wurzbach Parkway progress

Texas Sterling Construction has been given marching orders to repair some materials issues that have cropped up around Starcrest Drive and should have the eastern portion of Wurzbach Parkway opened up by the end of the school year, if all goes well.

Opening the roadway will actually be done in phases, with eastbound lanes opened first. Westbound lanes will open once crews finish building a segment of concrete barrier at the city's brush dump site between Jones-Maltsberger and Starcrest Drive. Once that barrier is finished - a process that should take less than a month - we'll be ready to open the eastbound side.

The fix for the materials issues is a simple one - we'll be pushing through the area with seal coating, hitting the eastbound side first. Once the seal coats are finished and we have the roadway striped (or re-striped) appropriately, we'll open up that one direction of roadway.

When crews begin, the seal coat work shouldn't take more than a few days. That work is, of course, weather dependent. We can't do seal coats or highway striping during wet or abnormally cold weather, so some of this work may not begin for another few weeks. With the seal coat finished and the road ready for traffic on the eastbound lanes of Wurzbach Parkway between Jones-Maltsberger and Wetmore, Texas Sterling will be able to work on that small section (less than 100 feet) of concrete median barrier near the brush site.

This will mean a new, permanent, route for traffic headed to the brush site, by the way. Those looking to be rid of yard waste and other tree branches or shrubs will need to use Wurzbach Parkway and approach from Jones-Maltsberger. Those coming from the eastern portion of the city will follow Starcrest to Jones-Maltsberger, then approach the dump site from the parkway. Trucks leaving the dump site will be able to head west via Starcrest. Once the full parkway is opened, turnarounds at Starcrest Drive and Jones-Maltsberger will help traffic navigate appropriately.

Constructing the barrier includes placing the reinforcing steel bars, setting the concrete forms and actually pouring concrete - then letting the concrete cure. If everything moves at an optimal pace, that could be finished in as little as two weeks. During that time Texas Sterling should be able to finish the seal coat operations to have the eastbound side ready for traffic.

All told, we could be looking at having the parkway opened to traffic any time between April and June. That will leave the final segment, spanning between West Avenue and Jones-Maltsberger, to be opened late this summer.