Wednesday, February 25

Loop 1604 development - the fuss near Braun Rd

Over the last couple of weeks daily commuters along Lp 1604 on the city's northwest side have seen slow-downs between New Guilbeau and Braun roads, leading to some backups extending south to Helotes Creek and north to Bandera Road at peak traffic hours.

The interruption comes from work on the frontage roads at the north end of the job, which have caused Williams Brothers Construction to take out one lane in each direction between Braun and New Guilbeau roads. The taken lane allows for a safe work area as road builders install underground drain structures.
Work on the underground drain structures just south of Braun Road, and on the southbound frontage road, has caused Williams Brothers to squeeze Loop 1604 to just two lanes between Braun Road and New Guilbeau.
This work on underground drain structures will also require the temporary closure of Amelia Pass at Loop 1604 (the small road by Sonic) beginning next week. Traffic will reach Amelia Pass from Braun Road, or may access the local businesses through the driveway and parking lot adjacent to Amelia Pass.

In order to accommodate the advance work WB is doing on the future overpass at Braun Road, the turnarounds will need to close through the month of March. Traffic will simply move through the intersection to turn around. Northbound traffic may also use the superstreet turnaround.
The turnarounds at Braun Road will close through the month of March while crews work on the bridge supports for the future Braun Road overpass.
Work on frontage roads - the primary push for our project right now - means the first major traffic switch on this project could come as soon as the start of summer. If work continues at the current pace, Williams Brothers should be ready to switch traffic onto the frontage roads project-wide by the start of summer. Traffic flows should return to near normal at that point, freeing up some of the slow spots of late.
If work continues on its current pace, the frontage roads - including the bridges at Helotes Creek - will be in use by the start of summer. This is a look at the southbound frontage road at Helotes Creek.
The traffic shift won't change the superstreet operation at the intersections of Shaenfield and New Guilbeau roads, and drivers should have at least two lanes of traffic to use in each direction (with some added turn lanes at intersections). In fact, the shift won't change the commute patterns for most drivers in the area beyond shifting the lanes outward to open up work on what will be the main lanes.

With traffic on the frontage roads, bridge crews can move in to work on the overpasses. Project managers anticipate all overpasses to open at once, and not have a progressive opening with each opening one at a time. The overall project is on pace to be finished the end of 2016.

Survey work on the Hwy 151-Lp 1604 intersection is underway. Tree-trimmers are out this week cutting necessary trees to prepare for the work. Project managers expect full-steam construction work to be underway by spring break.