Three major items are the topic of conversation among personnel working the I-10 Huebner job, and all three are closely related to one another.
Item one: asphalt
Webber Construction - and, more accurately, their subcontractor Angel Brothers Construction - is busily working to repave and resurface the main lanes and frontage roads of I-10 between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road. This is one of the last major items to finish before the job is done.
|Many of the northbound lanes of I-10, seen on the right from UTSA Boulevard, have been repaved. Angel Brothers is resurfacing all lanes of I-10 involved in the expansion of the highway between Huebner Road and Loop 1604.|
In fact, the equipment folks see parked during the day on the new east-to-west turnaround at UTSA Boulevard is the paving equipment that gets working just about every night. (By the way, that equipment isn't nearly heavy enough to negatively impact the structure of that bridge; bridges are rated to hold several thousands of pounds per square inch of bridge surface ... this eqipment distributes that weight over several square feet or square yards.)
In all, expect to see nightly closures through mid-summer as crews finish up the asphalt work. It's tedious work, but it's what will make the ride through the corridor nice and smooth. Those closures will occur between about 8:30 at night and about 5 in the morning. Last week we had a plant breakdown at the asphalt manufacturer's location that hindered production and kept crews in traffic through the morning rush hour. This issue was addressed with the prime contractor, Webber, and we've been assured the issue was isolated.
Item two: turnarounds
The new turnaround at UTSA Boulevard is being used as a staging area until asphalt has been laid to match the turnaround deck. That's still a few weeks away, but that new turnaround could be in use as early as late June.
The turnarounds at DeZavala Road ... well, wow. We said in February they'd be done in March. Before then, we talked about having them reopened before the main lanes would reopen (those conversations came in 2014). The turnarounds have been closed for more than a year at this point, and we're reaching a boiling point.
|The turnarounds at DeZavala Road have been closed about a year, despite plans tho have them closed only a few months. The west-to-east turnaround, shown closed here May 4, should be open by May 6.|
Compounding the issue is last week's promise to have the turnarounds open by Friday - a deadline crews have clearly missed.
Today, discussing this issue with Webber's leadership on the project, we agreed to have the turnarounds open by the end of the week. They won't have a final surface yet - that will come with the overnight paving operation - but they will be open and safe to use.
If they don't have those open, for whatever reason, by then you're welcome to contact Webber Construction directly to let them know your thoughts on the matter.
The turnarounds will still close nightly as needed for paving operations, but this will provide much-needed daytime relief and some help to local businesses.
Webber has attributed the delay to a combination of rules regarding getting the turnarounds open, availability of asphalt and other road-building materials, and on the weather. They say the rain has caused asphalt and concrete suppliers to retrench somewhat. With materials scarce, they didn't believe they would be allowed to open the turnarounds during daytime hours only - or without their intended final surface. TxDOT has recently clarified that contractors may indeed close the turnarounds overnight in order to facilitate work.
Item three: exit and entrance ramps
If you've not yet heard, Webber will close the westbound exit ramp to DeZavala Road this weekend for asphalt work. Starting Friday night asphalt crews will begin resurfacing the ramp. That asphalt work will take the bulk of the weekend, but when lanes are reopened by Monday morning traffic will be driving on the final surface of the ramp. Expect a much smoother ride than you're getting now.
|This exit ramp - the westbound exit to DeZavala Road - will close for the weekend while crews resurface the exit. The approaching exit lanes will also close, leaving I-10 to just three lanes over Huebner Road.|
Along with the ramp crews will close the exit lanes on the main lanes - reducing the westbound main lanes to three active lanes at that location - and two lanes of the frontage road. Again, all these lanes will reopen in time for the Monday morning commute.