Wednesday, May 6

Three major closures this weekend

UPDATE: Due to rain, the closures on I-10 and at the intersection of Fredericksburg and Medical have been POSTPONED until next weekend (May 15-18). The closure on U.S. 281 will still happen, as it is less dependent on weather.

Announced today are three major closures that could impact traffic fairly heavily this weekend. The most significant of the three is on U.S. Hwy 281 at Nakoma Drive.

U.S. 281 closure

The work at U.S. 281 - which will mean at least one direction of the highway will be shut down through the bulk of Saturday, and for a few short hours will mean all main lanes will be closed - will build the support structures for the new south-to-north turnaround at Nakoma Drive. This new turnaround will allow eastbound traffic on Wurzbach Parkway to reach northbound 281 with relative ease, once the Wurzbach Parkway project is finished.

The southbound lanes will close at 6 a.m. Saturday and reopen sometime Saturday afternoon, depending on how quickly Williams Brothers Construction gets the work over the southbound lanes finished. At some point mid-day the northbound lanes will close as well. The time cannot be pinpointed in advance, as production rates on the southbound side impact the time of the northbound closure. For at least two hours, both sides will be closed.

Traffic will exit Nakoma Drive, pass through the intersection and then re-enter the highway. All lanes should be reopened by 7 p.m. Saturday.

Once the bridge beams are set over 281 this weekend, drivers should expect nightly closures of the highway - sometimes full closures of one direction of the highway at a time - while bridge crews do their work. Williams Brothers Construction is pushing to finish work along U.S. 281 early summer so they can open the parkway up by mid-summer.

I-10 closure

Additionally, the westbound I-10 exit ramp to DeZavala Road will close Friday night at 8:30 and remain closed through Monday morning while Webber Construction and its subcontractors resurface the road. This closure will also include the two right lanes - an optional exit lane and an auxiliary lane - of I-10, leaving I-10 with just three westbound main lanes in operation over Huebner Road this weekend.

When  crews are done drivers will notice a much smoother ride along the auxiliary lane connecting the entrance ramp from Huebner Road to the exit ramp to DeZavala, and particularly along the exit ramp itself. Crews should be able to iron out some of the asphalt along the frontage road between the exit ramp and Fredericksburg Road as well, eliminating small lips along the road where the base surface that's down and in use isn't at the same elevation as, say, a drain outlet. Yes, we've had a temporary "ramp" to eliminate sharp contrasts in these elevation points, but this work will flush things out so it's all smooth sailing.

Of course, overnight closures of the I-10 main lanes are ongoing as Webber and their subcontractor work to resurface the entirety of the project between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road.

Fred-Med closure

At the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Medical Drive crews with Texas Sterling Construction will repave the intersection, closing the intersection to through traffic on Fredericksburg Road. Traffic on Fredericksburg Road should use Wurzbach Road, Ewing Halsell and Louis Pasteur to get around the intersection. Traffic on Medical Drive will actually be able to push through the intersection on a portion of the new through lanes under Fredericksburg Road, but will not be able to turn directly onto Fredericksburg Road.

The Medical Center closures are scheduled to begin Friday night at 7 and will wrap up by Monday at 5 a.m.

When Texas Sterling is finished, the ride through the intersection of Fredericksburg Road and Medical Drive should be a whole lot smoother. We'll also be able to lay down final pavement markings, which should help folks navigate left turns through the intersection a little better. (Hint: once you turn left, DON'T STOP! Keep going through the intersection!) We're still waiting on the electrical subcontractor, Star, to build the traffic signals to get that one step closer to being finished with work at the intersection altogether, but this weekend is an important step to knock out.

As for those through lanes, don't expect to keep using them Monday. We'll only have one lane each way open through the weekend, and crews still have a lot of little things to do in order to open those up long-term. Look for a ribbon cutting and official opening to come later this month.

With wet weather in the forecast for the weekend, there is a chance some of this work gets postponed; if so, an alert will be sent out via Twitter.