Thursday, July 9

Projects wrapping up - Hill Country area

This month has been really light on posts - we know. We've got a TON of information to get out, and the logjam of info has led to a dearth of posts. So, we're just going to start taking a bite at a time to get this info out to you.

Today, we're starting with a brief rundown of projects about to wrap up in the Hill Country area. For the purposes of this post, this includes Comal, Kendall and Kerr counties. We'll actually go in that order ... so, here's a look at Comal County area projects:

FM 306

Beginning Monday, July 13, Hunter Industries will begin laying a final course of asphalt on the road between I-35 and a little west of Hunter Road. This work will require daily alternating lane closures to allow for paving crews to do their work, but folks should have at least one lane each way to push through the area.

After about a week or so of paving, paint crews will lay pavement markings and you'll have a final product. Concrete work is finished already and crews have already set sod in place. All that's left, really, is the pavement and paint. That, and a final tweak of the traffic signals (which will be done while painters do their thing).

All told this project should be completed and done by the end of the month.

I-35 resurfacing

For those unfamiliar with this, what we're talking about here is the stretch of I-35 between FM 3009 and Solms Road. This is a $9.9 million project that's been going on since spring of 2014. We've had some delays due to materials, equipment failures or weather - pushing us back from what should have been a four-month project duration. Despite the delays, we're happy with the product and the drive between Schertz and New Braunfels is pretty darned smooth!

Now, on to Kendall County:

Ralph Fair Road

Yes, this isn't actually in Kendall County ... but it sort of feels like it is so we're including it on this list. And yes, we're almost done with the work at Ralph Fair Road and I-10. That work could be finished - meaning no more overnight closures, no more daytime closures, no more anything - as early as the first half of next week.

Huge credit for working a quick, clean project to Sundt Construction. The $7.5 million project widened the Ralph Fair Road bridge to five lanes (it used to be just two), and converted some of the frontage roads between Boerne Stage Road and Ralph Fair Road to one-way.

Hwy 46 at Esser

This project was literally days - days - from being finished when we discovered a pavement failure issue with the sub-base that's now being addressed. The $2 million project reconstructed a portion of the roadway and improved the intersection - particularly for westbound traffic on Hwy 46 - right there at the intersection of Hwy 46 and Esser Road. One of the major reasons for the work is to fit the intersection to the Kendall County project to expand the Herff Road bridge; well, mission accomplished there. And with the new right-turn lane in place for westbound traffic that would be headed to Boerne High School, school traffic this fall should see a better drive than they've seen in a while.

And, finally, a look at Kerr County:

Hwy 39 Ingram

This project seemed to be the project that simply would not end! The $8.6 million project began 2013 with the intent of adding a center left-turn lane, bike lanes and sidewalks to Hwy 39 between Hwy 27 and the Ingram Dam out in, well, Ingram.

The project got off to a rough start, but over the last year work moved as fast as the weather allowed. Final asphalt surface will be laid as soon as some curb and sidewalk - under way right now - is finished, and and final striping will come immediately thereafter. That work is currently slated for the last week of July, which means completion should come by the first week of August.

Hunt Crossing

This is another project on Hwy 39, this time a bridge over the south fork of the Guadalupe River in the area of Hunt, Texas. If you've not been, by the way, you should - a gem of the Hill Country, Hunt is!

The $2.5 million project replaced the old bridge with a wider, upgraded version. The wider bridge still only carries one lane in each direction, but it now includes space for shoulders and improved rails. The water flow volume is improved as well. This one shouldn't see water run over top very often, and improve the drive through the area.

Hwy 16 Kerrville

This project - a $2.7 million effort to widen and improve Hwy 16 between Hwy 173 and River Hills Blvd on the south side of Kerrville - was marred by a crash in September that landed five workers, including two TxDOT inspectors, in the hospital. The crash was caused by a suspected drunk driver who sped through an active work zone, passing officers who tried to slow or stop the driver prior to the work zone. The driver was chased by police to his home, where he was arrested.

Despite that drama, crews with Zimmerman Construction have been able to eke out a decent project. Yes, the work has taken longer than estimated. However, notice was given this week paving crews will work all week next week to lay that final surface of asphalt.

The final product should be delivered by the end of the week, if all goes well. That product includes beefed up shoulders and a turn lane.