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Thursday, March 5

Wurzbach Parkway progress

Wednesday morning electricians activated the traffic signals at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Jones-Maltsberger (the signals at Starcrest and Wurzbach were activated a few days earlier). These lights will be on a "flash" setting for about a week before they go to full-cycle.

Here's what this means: Wurzbach Parkway will be completely open between Jones-Maltsberger and Wetmore by the middle of next week. Eastbound traffic is already active on this segment.

This aerial shot, taken from Google maps, shows the segment of Wurzbach Parkway that's now complete. This opening puts San Antonio drivers one leap closer to a third option for an east-west connector across the city's north side.

This marks an end to a tumultuous project that started back in 2010. In 2012 the original contractor, Ballenger Construction, defaulted on all their projects and filed for bankruptcy. By spring 2013 the bonding company, Liberty Mutual, had Texas Sterling Construction under contract to finish the project. Texas Sterling spent the first few months cleaning the project and assessing the needs of the job.

Over the last several months, Texas Sterling repaired issues held over from the Ballenger work and addressed concerns with electrical work. Continued troubles with copper wire being stolen from the project site delayed completion by a few weeks. Still, project managers focused on doing whatever they could to get the road opened for use. Portions of Wurzbach Parkway have been opened as soon as they were available since late fall.

With everything opened next week, this will means drivers will be able to connect directly to Jones-Maltsberger on Wurzbach Parkway, traversing the northeast side of town with greater ease. Those using the Salado Creek Greenway will find the trail extended to Jones-Maltsberger as well, improving mobility for hikers and bikers as well as drivers.

The final remaining segment of the parkway to finish runs between Jones-Maltsberger and West Avenue, including an overpass at U.S. Highway 281. That work is on pace to wrap up this summer.

The final segment of Wurzbach Parkway will bridge U.S. 281, running top to bottom in the picture, and connect Jones-Maltsberger to West Avenue. This segment is on pace to open this summer.
Related to the work on this final segment, Williams Brothers Construction will close the northbound frontage road between Nakoma Drive and Bitters Road Saturday between 3 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pour concrete that will form the new Bitters Road exit ramp. The work shouldn't take all of the time scheduled and could finish up by early afternoon. Traffic will use Nakoma Drive, Jones-Maltsberger and Bitters Road to reach its destination.

Over the next week Williams Brothers will be working to switch traffic on the southbound frontage road of U.S. Highway 281 to its final configuration. The exit ramp to Nakoma Drive is being eliminated in favor of a new exit ramp that will capture traffic headed to Wurzbach Parkway as well as Nakoma Drive. The entrance ramp from Bitters Road, which has been moved, is already it its permanent location.

When traffic on the southbound frontage road is shifted later this month, Williams Brothers will set up barrier near the center median of the Hwy 281 main lanes and begin some work in the median area. This shouldn't disrupt daily traffic too much, but those who drive the area may opt to slow down a few miles per hour as they pass through the work zone.