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Wednesday, November 18

A new crop of big projects

Wurzbach Parkway is finished and in use. We've also finished up work on I-10 between Loop 1604 and Huebner Road. An expanded bridge over I-10 at Ralph Fair Road is complete.

With the exception of work on I-35 on the northeast side of San Antonio, the bulk of major work now going is in northwest San Antonio. There are few, if any, folks in northwest San Antonio who don't encounter at least one construction zone in their daily commute. This isn't because we're trying to slow your commute at all, by the way (we've had people ask why we can't limit jobs to one at a time...) but rather an indication of the needs in the area. Growth has been rapid, and we're trying desperately to catch up.

Here's the latest on the biggest jobs in northwest San Antonio:

I-10 Leon Springs
The temporary conversion of the frontage road between Boerne Stage Road and Aue Road to one-way planned for this week has been pushed back to December 14 due to weather.

When Texas Sterling Construction is able to begin work on the bridge (they are replacing the bridge structure itself), they will demolish one side of the bridge at a time. This work, overall, will take a few months to complete. Drivers in the area should expect this condition to continue until at least the spring break season.

While we wait for work on that Leon Creek bridge to begin, crews will start laying asphalt on the north side of Boerne Stage Road (the same side as The Look). That work will take a few weeks to complete and will lead to work on the south side of BSR and the new west-to-east turnaround.

On that front, we have finally cleared our utilities conflicts along the new westbound frontage road that will go behind Fralos, Leon Springs Elementary, Sonic and other businesses. While we've been able to progress in that area by building the planned sound wall, we're now able to do the actual road work. Expect to see that progress much more quickly now - weather pending. (Therein lies the frustration - we're entering our cold-and-wet season, and laying asphalt becomes much less simple until March or April.)

Overall the project is on pace to wrap up the middle of 2016.

151-410 intersection
The biggest disruption for folks driving through the area of Hwy 151 and I-410 is the closure of the eastbound entrance ramp to Hwy 151 coming from Ingram Road. That ramp is closed to allow a safe work space for Williams Brothers crews, who are working hard on the new direct connector support structures for the connector that will run eastbound Hwy 151 traffic onto northbound I-410.

The good news is this means these guys with Williams Brothers are really getting after it with this project. As for the duration of this closure ... well, it'll reopen when we are able to construct a new ramp, which will be built after that segment of the connector is finished. That should be early 2017.

This project will be ongoing into 2018, and will feature a number of traffic changes during the next two-plus years. Stay tuned here for announcements as they become available.

US 90
Calls have been nearly overwhelming from folks asking about the closure of the frontage road bridge at Medio Creek - the bridge that's between Hunt Lane and Kriewald Road.

The reason for the closure is pretty simple: we're reconstructing the bridge. Sometimes we're able to do so one half of the bridge at a time, leaving the bridge open (though it drags the duration of construction out considerably), but at this location we couldn't conceivably do that due to the nature of the two-way frontage road. Keeping one lane open would require a one-way traffic control situation with a mechanical device or a manned flagging position - both options costing a considerable amount of money that would have pushed this project well over our budget.

Here's the good news: the closure is extremely temporary, and Hunter Industries should have the new bridge ready to use in January.

The biggest issue we're seeing is with folks frustrated at a lack of posted detour routes. This is an issue we're not able to remedy quickly; Hunt Lane has its own exit ramp, and folks are readily able to reach Kriewald and Loop 1604 from the main lanes of US 90. We've left the frontage road at two-way, and kept the ramps in their current configuration, for this closure so folks can navigate appropriately. Since we're unable to trailblaze routes - especially through residential neighborhoods, where the heavier traffic flows will tear up roadways and contribute to additional safety risks to pedestrians - we had conscientiously determined local drivers will be able to responsibly determine their own new routes, if needed.

As for the overall project ... this job will convert the frontage roads between I-410 and Loop 1604 to one-way, build a new west-to-east turnaround at Loop 1604 and reconfigure some ramps. You can see those changes online here. The project will wrap up in 2017.