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Friday, May 29

First Prop 1 project for the area approved

We've got several posts in the hopper, but haven't been able to finish any to have them ready for posting this week - it's been pretty busy around here as we've helped field questions about road closures and damage and a whole lot of other stuff in the wake of last weekend's flooding.

But yesterday a state-wide news release went out that's worth commenting on, and we didn't want to delay. So, though we've got some other topics about to post as well (today may be a busy day on this blog...), here's a few words about the first Prop 1 project to be approved for the San Antonio area.

Several Prop 1 projects across the state have already been approved - we have about 200 of them planned in all - but for San Antonio, a project that spans U.S. 90 between I-410 and Loop 1604 on the city's west side is the first to be formally approved with a contractor bid accepted. This happened at the monthly Transportation Commission meeting, with about 40 projects approved statewide this week.

Once the contractor has signed all the appropriate contracts, we'll talk more about that. For now, here are the important details (there are also some slide shows from the public meetings processes here):

The apparent low bidder is Hunter Industries, of San Marcos. Hunter has done a number of projects in Comal County in recent years (the U.S. 281 expansion in Spring Branch, the reconfiguration of the Lp 337 overpass bridge over I-35, the FM 306 expansion between I-35 and Gruene and addition of passing lanes along FM 306 in Canyon Lake are some examples) and a few years ago constructed the Loop 1604 superstreet intersections at New Guilbeau and Shaenfield roads.

  • Convert the frontage roads of U.S. 90 between I-410 and Lp 1604 to one-way frontage roads
  • Adjust ramps to fit new one-way frontage road configuration
  • Build a new west-to-east turnaround at Loop 1604
The frontage roads conversion is a safety first project. In metro and urban areas, we're doing what we can to eliminate two-way frontage roads as we see a higher frequency of wrong-way drivers along these roads. Also, the added traffic in this area due to continued growth requires us to address congestion issues - and one-way frontage roads will help that for current and future growth.

With a bid accepted and approved, we're about three months or thereabouts from starting construction. Once we get going, expect the project to last somewhere around two years. That means we can expect work to begin late 2015 and finish late 2017.

Prop 1 funding - that's right, this will be the first (of many) projects in San Antonio funded through Proposition 1, which was approved by voters last fall. This project carries an estimated total project cost of $26.2 million.