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Monday, February 29

This week's construction-related closures



All - 
First of all, we're still digging into what issues caused delays on I-10 in the Leon Springs area this passed weekend. We'll have info posted as soon as we get good enough info to post. Second, we're sorry these were delayed in posting. Sometimes a lot of stuff comes up, and when we're running a one-man shop to distribute information, things get pushed back. So, without further ado, here's the upcoming week's construction-related closures:
I-10 – Boerne
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes at Scenic Loop Road. The left lane will close while crews reset barrier.
  • Monday-Thursday, February 29-March 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes at Scenic Loop Road. The left lane will close while crews reset barrier.
  • Wednesday-Friday, March 2-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes one mile west of Scenic Loop Road. The right lane will close while crews reset barrier.
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The right shoulder will close while crews do road work.
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between I-35 and Houston Street. The right shoulder will close while crews do road work.
I-10 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current thru Thursday, March 31. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between North Colorado and Fredericksburg Road (lower level). The right lane will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current thru March 2016. Exit ramps, both directions, to Eisenhauer Road. The ramps will close while crews build a new exit ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around to reach Eisenhauer Road.
  • Current thru March 2016. Northbound entrance ramp from Eisenhauer Road. The ramp will close while crews build a new entrance ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp.
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound frontage road between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Turnarounds, both directions, at Salado Creek. The turnarounds will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
  • Sunday-Friday, February 28-March 4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Binz Engleman and AT&T Center Parkway. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews construct overhead highway sign supports.
  • Monday-Friday, February 29-March 4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound frontage road between AT&T Center Parkway and Binz-Engleman. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Monday-Friday, February 29-March 4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Turnarounds, both directions, at Salado Creek. The turnarounds will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
I-410 – Southwest Bexar County
  • Sunday-Tuesday, February 28-March 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes between Palo Alto Road and Old Pearsall Road. The right lane will close while crews test pavement.
  • Monday-Wednesday, February 29-March 2. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between New Valley Hi Drive and Old Pearsall Road. The right lane will close while crews test pavement.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 1-3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and Medina Base Road. The right lane will close while crews test pavement.
  • Wednesday-Friday, March 2-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and Palo Alto Road. The right lane will close while crews test pavement.
  • Thursday-Friday, March 3-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Somerset Road and Fisher Road. The right lane will close while crews test pavement.
I-410 – South Bexar County
  • Wednesday-Friday, March 2-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound I-410 between Somerset and Roosevelt. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Current until May 2016. Westbound frontage road between Hunt Lane and East Kriewald. The frontage road will close while crews reconstruct the Medio Creek Bridge.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current through Sunday, March 13. Southbound frontage road north of Braun Road. The right lane will close while crews construct sidewalk.
  • Current through Sunday, March 6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Braun and Culebra roads. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Current through Sunday, March 6. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Braun and Culebra roads. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work. Minimum two lanes will remain open in each direction.
  • Monday-Tuesday, February 29-March 1. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, at Braun Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews do concrete work. Two lanes will remain open in each direction throughout the day.
  • Monday-Tuesday, February 29-March 1. 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. North-to-south turnaround at Shaenfield. The turnaround will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Monday-Friday, February 29-March 4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151 in both directions. Northbound traffic will follow Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151. Southbound traffic will follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway.
  • Monday, February 29-Monday, March 7. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Bandera and Braun roads. The right lane will close while crews build curb and sidewalk.
  • Monday, February 29-Monday, March 7. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Bandera and Braun roads. The right lane will close while crews build curb and sidewalk.
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, March 1-2. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage roads, both directions, at Shaenfield Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews do concrete work. Two lanes in each directions will remain open throughout the day.
  • Tuesday-Saturday, March 1-5. 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. South-to-north turnaround at Shaenfield. The turnaround will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Wednesday-Saturday, March 2-5. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. North-to-south turnaround at New Guilbeau. The turnaround will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Thursday-Saturday, March 3-5. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road at Helotes Creek. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Saturday, March 5 at 5 a.m. until Sunday, March 6 at 7 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews hang bridge support beams and do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151 in both directions. Northbound traffic will follow Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151. Southbound traffic will follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until December 2016. Westbound exit ramp to Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed.
  • Current until December 2016. Eastbound entrance ramp from Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed.
Other roads – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Wednesday, February 29-March 2. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Rigsby Avenue, both directions, under I-410. Alternating lanes, no more than one at a time, will close while crews install underpass lighting.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Tuesday, March 1. 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Westbound New Guilbeau Road at Loop 1604. Alternating lanes will close while crews pour concrete.
Other roads – Pleasanton
  • Current through Friday, March 18. State Highway 97, both directions, one mile east of Charlotte city limits. One-way traffic control will be employed for one mile with temporary traffic signals while crews rebuild the roadway. Expect delays.
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, February 24

Leon Springs area - what's happening now and why

More than a little fracas has been raised by residents asking why the frontage road between Boerne Stage Road and Aue Road has been limited to one-way traffic. So many questions have been asked it's nearly impossible to address them all, but we're going to try. We've also got a slew of phone calls to return on this matter; we're getting there. If you're waiting on a call from us, know that it's coming and we look forward to discussing the issue in-depth and (somewhat) in person.

First, a look at what's going on with the project - that is, where we're at now and where we're going from here. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words (click on the picture to enlarge):

In the interest of those needing a bit of an explanation (we certainly did when we saw the original version of the above graphic), here's some wordsmithing of the details:

Green parts are the easiest to describe, and have the most definite timeline. Simply put, the frontage roads marked in green will be one-way (permanently), and we're opening up the new lanes of Boerne Stage Road under the I-10 overpass so traffic will have two lanes in each direction. We'll also open up the new turnarounds at Boerne Stage Road and at Dominion Drive. Last item: the new traffic signals at Dominion Drive and at the new frontage road location at Boerne Stage Road will be activated.

When will all this happen? Current schedules show somewhere around St. Patty's day, but weather may push that back a few days. Bottom line: we'll have it all running late March.

Now for the more complex items (which are source of more questions) - the red areas. These are our high-priority work areas on this project. Let's go through each of the three one-by-one.

Red area one: the new ramps near Fralo's along the westbound frontage road and main lanes. The new westbound exit ramp to Leon Springs and Boerne Stage Road will be built to have the green areas opened up. This will allow crews to close the current exit ramp so the frontage road connection may be built and a new westbound entrance ramp from Dominion Drive can be finished and open up. All this will start once the green areas are put into play. The nature of this work could mean a pretty quick turnaround time, depending on the weather. Best-case scenario is to have this area all rebuilt by early May.

Here's the deal, though: if you're headed to or from Leon Springs, you won't feel much impact by this work. You'll have an exit ramp in play already, and you'll be able to use the frontage road connector if you're headed eastbound from Leon Springs. This really will have the heaviest impact on folks coming from Dominion and headed to Boerne, though their trips won't have really changed all that much from what things are today.

Red area two: the eastbound frontage road bridge over Leon Creek. This bridge was cut down to a single lane to be rebuilt. This reconstruction is being done one half at a time. This is out-of-sequence work the contractor has been working on while waiting for some issues with utilities in other areas to be wrapped up. With those utility conflicts being resolved, some of the labor forces have been moved and assets have been redistributed. With the green area in play, this will be a major area of focus. With dirt crews working hard on red area one, concrete and bridge crews can focus on this (and the other) bridge. This bridge is one of the biggest reasons the eastbound frontage road is trimmed to a single lane. Because we're wanting to open up that eastbound frontage road as quick as possible, we're trying to accelerate this work to be finished up late April or early May.

Red area three: the bridge over Leon Creek between Boerne Stage and Aue roads. This is the area that's getting us the highest volume of calls. We're even getting comments via Facebook and Twitter. We're trying to solve the issue and have indeed considered a number of factors - including the majority of ideas presented via social media.

Like red area two, we're rebuilding the bridge in halves. That means we only have space for one lane - which means one-way traffic is an absolute necessity. Heck, we just can't fit two lanes of traffic on the bridge to make it two-way. This is a temporary solution, and when we're finished (mid-summer, as early as June) we'll get things back to two way.

Two major questions have arisen about this bridge and the resultant traffic control: Why not wait until summer, when trips to Leon Springs Elementary aren't a factor? Why not wait until the eastbound frontage road is opened up and at full capacity?

Well, we did consider waiting until June. Unfortunately that would mean delaying overall project completion several months - and our priority is finishing this project as quickly as we can (it is running a few weeks behind due to the abundant utility conflicts we've encountered) and causing further delays, which would make costs on the project jump quite a bit, was simply not an option for us. We'd also likely see work creep into the school year, so the impact on school traffic would still exist anyway.

As for waiting for the eastbound frontage road to be opened, we ran up against similar issues - overall project delays. The simple truth is the way things are working right now actually allows this work to be done even faster. Having both bridges underway allows Texas Sterling Construction to employ more resources - they're pulling from the same pool to accomplish the tasks. As schedulers ensure concrete pours and steel deliveries coincide, the work is actually pushed a little faster down the line. What's more, we see a slight cost savings as larger loads and orders are brought to the job site.

That said, we have an issue with a water line owned by SAWS at this bridge location that's kept us from knocking anything else to get to work. This SAWS impact may cause us to rethink our schedules and make some changes - but, again, we're talking about an option that could lead to overall project delays (which we're trying to avoid).

The good news, either way, is the conversion of frontage roads to one-way between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive will help the situation for eastbound traffic approaching Boerne Stage. It won't fix the problem, but it will help tremendously. The signals at Boerne Stage will be re-timed to reflect the diminished operations - that is, there's one fewer direction of traffic to deal with, which means an increase in green time for that eastbound frontage road and a shorter wait on red. Again it's not a full-on fix, but it will help.
We are considering other options to give some relief in the area, especially as the new eastbound entrance ramp from Ralph Fair is opened up. This may provide us with some new options and provide a little extra help.

The yellow areas show work items we'll work on as we have available crews - this work will primarily be done over the summer months, so don't expect to see too much of this work going before school lets out. Once it does start (some preliminary work on the yellow areas along the eastbound frontage road and main lanes between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive is already done), the overall duration of work should only be a matter of weeks at each location.

Friday, February 19

Next week's construction-related closures



I-10 – Boerne
  • Sunday-Friday, February 21-26. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes at Scenic Loop Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier and stripe the roadway.
  • Tuesday-Friday, February 23-26. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes at Scenic Loop Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier.
I-10 – Seguin
  • Tuesday, February 23. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound exit ramp to Hwy 123. The ramp shoulder will close while crews set barrier. This work should be accomplished without closing the ramp.
  • Tuesday, February 23. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between FM 78 and Hwy 123. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, February 21-26. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between Roland Avenue and I-410. The right shoulder will close while crews do road work.
  • Monday-Friday, February 22-26. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The right shoulder will close while crews do road work.
I-10 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current thru Thursday, March 31. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between North Colorado and Fredericksburg Road (lower level). The right lane will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
I-35 – Kyle
  • Sunday, February 21. 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. Northbound main lanes at exit 213. All lanes will close while crews re-create a crash for investigative purposes. Traffic will exit the highway, follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway. Questions regarding this closure should be directed to Chris Bishop of the Austin District Office at 512.832.7110.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current thru March 2016. Exit ramps, both directions, to Eisenhauer Road. The ramps will close while crews build a new exit ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around to reach Eisenhauer Road.
  • Current thru March 2016. Northbound entrance ramp from Eisenhauer Road. The ramp will close while crews build a new entrance ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp.
I-35 – South Bexar County
  • Saturday, February 20. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between I-410 and Somerset Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews repair cracks in the asphalt.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Current until May 2016. Westbound frontage road between Hunt Lane and East Kriewald. The frontage road will close while crews reconstruct the Medio Creek Bridge.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current through Sunday, March 13. Southbound frontage road north of Braun Road. The right lane will close while crews construct sidewalk.
  • Current through Sunday, March 6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Braun and Culebra roads. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Current through Sunday, March 6. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Braun and Culebra roads. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work. Minimum two lanes will remain open in each direction.
  • Saturday-Sunday, February 20-21. 4 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151.
  • Monday-Sunday, February 22-28. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151.
  • Monday-Sunday, February 22-28. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Bandera and Braun roads. The right lane will close as needed for concrete work.
  • Saturday, February 27 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, February 28 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews hang bridge support beams and do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151 in both directions. Northbound traffic will follow Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151. Southbound traffic will follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway.
  • Saturday, March 5 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, March 6 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews hang bridge support beams and do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit Hwy 151 in both directions. Northbound traffic will follow Hwy 151, turn around at Wiseman and return to Lp 1604 via Hwy 151. Southbound traffic will follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until December 2016. Westbound exit ramp to Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed.
  • Current until December 2016. Eastbound entrance ramp from Ingram and Potranco roads. The ramp will remain closed while crews install bridge support structures for the direct connector ramps being constructed.
Other roads – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Wednesday, February 22-24. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. E Houston Street, both directions, at I-410. Alternating lanes, no more than one at a time, will close while crews install underpass lighting.
  • Wednesday-Friday, February 24-26. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Rigsby Avenue, both directions, under I-410. Alternating lanes, no more than one at a time, will close while crews install underpass lighting.
Other roads – Southwest San Antonio
  • Saturday, February 20. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. New Laredo Highway, both directions, between Cassin Road and Pitluk Avenue. Alternating lanes will close while crews repair cracks in the asphalt.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, February 23-24. 2-6 a.m. daily. Shaenfield Road, both directions, at Lp 1604. All lanes will close while crews do concrete work. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road and turn around at the next intersection to reach its destination.
Other roads – Schertz
  • Monday-Friday, February 22-26. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. FM 3009, both directions, between I-35 and FM 78. The right lane will close in each direction as needed while crews do sidewalk work.
Other roads – Pleasanton
  • Current through Friday, March 18. State Highway 97, both directions, one mile east of Charlotte city limits. One-way traffic control will be employed for one mile with temporary traffic signals while crews rebuild the roadway. Expect delays.
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, February 18

Mail Bag: Safety cables, sidewalks and traffic signals - and a whole lot more....

I was wondering when the median cables on I-10 between the Bexar County line and Leon Springs would be repaired. Quite a few are down or are bent. When they are like that is does not seem to protect like they are supposed to. Thank you.
- Michael

Michael, thanks for your note. We have similar issues with our new cable median barriers along Hwy 151 as well - they've become victim to car crashes. We are issuing work orders as quickly as we can to get these barriers repaired.

Just how important is the safety of the Schertz residents during the construction of these sidewalks (along FM 3009)? How rude can the construction crew be and how much screaming are they allowed to do at pedestrians who are trying to walk to work safely? My son, walked on the dry sidewalk for safety reasons, was screamed at to get off, and almost hit by two cars. The construction along the entire length of FM 3009 is so messed up, no safe place for people to walk safely along the road now exists. At least before the sidewalks began it was possible for people to walk to work and not be hit by oncoming traffic. Now the only options are to get hit or get screamed at. Your construction crew have no right to be screaming at anyone. Let them work in the street so the pedestrians may safely walk. They owe many, many apologies! Even as a driver who had to pull over into one of the closed lanes I was yelled at. We don't need sidewalks this badly, if this is how we have to get them. Send your crew packing!
- Therese

Therese, thank you for writing. I hope you'll note we did our best to keep your whole message to us intact - we want to be fully transparent here. We did edit for clarity of your issue.
Let us first apologize for the way it appears you've been treated. We will discuss the matter with our contractors - they need to be better ambassadors than that. Courtesy should be held at all times, by all parties.
That said, we should address a few issues. First, at no time should any vehicle ever pull into a lane closed for use as an active construction zone. This is a serious safety hazard. While drivers who do so absolutely do not deserve to be verbally accosted, they are rightly asked to move along by construction crews. Let all other drivers take note: pulling over into a closure area is unsafe and should never be done. Look for an empty parking lot to pull into if you're looking to pull over for any reason whatsoever.
Prior to this project starting no safe route to walk along FM 3009 existed. The purpose of this project is to create one. While concrete may appear to be dry, it was likely a fresh pour from the prior day or two. While walking on the sidewalk may not leave footprints, it's still not an opened sidewalk. It's part of an active construction zone and is dangerous to walk in.
To be clear: no pedestrian should ever walk in or through an active construction zone except where a specifically marked pedestrian detour route has been laid out. In this case, no pedestrian detour route was put into place because the area had no prior pedestrian facilities. That said, we can look into options to help that situation out so your son can reach his destination as intended.

Any plans to relieve the congestion on FM1560 between Bandera Road and Shaenfield Road?
-Zane
In a word: yes! The problem is funding. While we don't have anything programmed for that area right now, we do have this on our radar. In order to accomplish that we'll need to acquire right-of-way and go through the whole process of designing and public meetings ... we're a few years away.
Here's the good news: the work on Lp 1604 is only a few short months from finishing up, and a lot of the excess traffic that's on FM 1560 to escape the construction delays will return to a much more efficient Lp 1604 at that time. While that should help, it won't solve anything.
Which is why we're working with the city of Helotes to find a way to expedite work that otherwise may wait five years or more.

Regarding the eastbound I-10 on-ramp from Scenic Loop Road, the ramp seems too short and barricades block the shoulder so merging traffic doesn't have space to speed up. Can anything be done to help?
- Resident
Truthfully, the ramp hasn't changed in length whatsoever - it's been untouched in our traffic control plan for the reconstruction of that intersection. The concrete traffic barrier was placed at that location due to a drop-off that would be a serious safety issue, so moving the barrier isn't a viable solution. That said, we'll keep a watchful eye out to see if there are any issues we can address during the construction phasing to improve the area and ensure drivers are able to adequately speed up to the posted limit of 70 miles per hour prior to needing to merge.

I realize that it's always been two lanes of Boerne Stage Road under I-10. That's the problem: two lanes is not enough with current traffic loads. When does TxDOT plan to open up all four lanes under I-10? That would greatly relieve the current traffic nightmare there.
- Andy

You're absolutely right, Andy. Having all four lanes open will help. That's why we're building them! We're hoping to have some more lane configurations open up along that whole project next month. We'll have more on the blog next week to describe what all is happening and what folks in the area may expect.

What's going on with the traffic light at New Guilbeau and 1604? Why was it out for so long?
-Zane
For those not familiar with the area, Zane is referring to a malfunction of the signal control box that occurred late Monday and wasn't fixed until mid-morning Tuesday this week. Such a delayed response is highly uncharacteristic, and is partly due to the project staff not even learning about the malfunction until Tuesday morning. Once the malfunction was discovered by project personnel they had crews in place to address the issue within a few short hours.
Several folks - some of us here at TxDOT included - were caught in the traffic delays and spent as much as 45 extra minutes to get through New Guilbeau Road that morning.
The good news: lesson learned. We were able to get officers on site relatively quickly Tuesday morning to direct traffic. What's more, we've got methods in place to be more diligent about inspecting these signals, even during holidays. We shouldn't see this problem again.
Better news: we should all be driving on the overpasses and expressways before the school year lets out, so this sort of thing won't be such an impact should it happen again in the future.

Will there eventually be a better way to get on Wurzbach Parkway going east from 281? Right now, you have to do the turnaround to get to the east entrance.
- Pam 
Pam, you must be talking about the southbound US 281 to eastbound Wurzbach Parkway movement. Honestly, no - this is the configuration we've had planned for years. Because of the proximity to the airport we can't build the much taller direct connectors (requiring at least two additional levels of roadway, increasing our elevation by some 60 or more feet) that would ease that movement. What's more, we simply don't have the $500 million in the bank to construct direct connectors for Wurzbach and US 281.
So, for the foreseeable future (10 years or more), the current arrangement is what we'll have out there for you - just as we'd discussed from day one with the project.

Wednesday, February 17

Leon Springs traffic switch TOMORROW

Those who drive along the I-10 corridor around Leon Springs - that is, between Dominion Drive and Ralph Fair Road - will see a fairly significant change to the way they get around beginning tomorrow (February 18).

Starting tomorrow the frontage road coming from Boerne Stage Road to Ralph Fair Road - this is the road running from Rudy's Bar-B-Q now - will be converted to one-way only. We'll have it back at two-way by mid-summer this year.
Work on the bridge will turn the frontage road between Boerne Stage and Aue roads to one-way. The segment between Aue Road and the westbound exit ramp to Ralph Fair Road will remain two-way at this time, allowing exiting traffic access to Aue Road, the park-and-ride and to local businesses.

The conversion will allow Texas Sterling Construction to rebuild the bridge over the creek bed to meet more modern standards. The bridge will be built in halves, one half at a time.

With the road limited to a single lane, traffic will be westbound only between Boerne Stage Road and Aue Road. This will have the largest impact on parents coming from Ralph Fair Road and Aue Road to reach Leon Springs Elementary; these folks will need to use Ralph Fair Road and either run through Boerne Stage Road to reach the school or use the highway to go all the way to Camp Bullis, turn around and then exit Boerne Stage Road.

We do realize how difficult this will be. We actually put a lot of thought into various scenarios and realized whether we started now or waited until June we would have some overlap with the school year. Starting now allows this project to finish up without further delays.

More changes are coming in the next few weeks; we'll have more to post (with graphics!) next week.

Thursday, February 11

I-35 SAMMC still working thru Rodeo weeks

Any time we have a project within immediate proximity of the AT&T Center during the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo we dramatically limit lane closures to promote efficient traffic flow. By the way, we keep a sharp eye on the Spurs home schedule to give the same treatment where we can there, also....
With that in mind - and the lingering fact we've not posted an update on these projects in a while - this post will give a look at what's happened and what to expect in upcoming weeks. By the way, the work between George Beach and AT&T Center Parkway is on pace to wrap up by the start of summer (this year). The expansion project between Windcrest and the I-410 southern interchange should wrap up by early 2017.

Street lights
We get calls on a very regular basis asking about the street lights out along the stretch of these projects. Because only street lights at intersections and ramps really serve a safety purpose, we've installed temporary lighting where needed. The other lights are mostly aesthetic; cars have headlights to help drivers see at night. We include lighting along these stretches at the request of local municipalities.
Crews have cut the power lines to these lights as they work on new structures in the vicinity, and are planning to reuse the existing conduit for the new lines that will power up the overhead lights. Connecting those power lines will be among the last tasks to be complete on the project; live wires pose a hazard to dirt crews digging in the area, and copper theft generally keeps out contractors from running the wires until they're ready to power the lines.

Salado Creek area
The next major thing to happen is completion - well, partial completion - of a new southbound exit ramp to AT&T Parkway. That should happen by early March. The ramps around Binz-Engleman should be rebuilt and open back up in time for Battle of Flowers (if weather cooperates).
Crews are continuing what work they can on the new auxiliary lanes of the main lanes these next few weeks, so long as the work doesn't require closures. Once the rodeo has wrapped up we'll start looking at schedules for resurfacing the main lanes and doing all the right asphalt work. Hopefully by then the overnight temperatures are high enough to lay asphalt anyway.
Electricians are working in the conduit for wires controlling those lights as well as TransGuide structures. Where they need to fill some work time into their schedule they'll work on the support columns for new overhead highway signs to be installed at the end of the project.

New direct connector
One of the biggest features of the project is the new southbound I-35 connector to southbound I-410. While traffic is currently exiting to the right to make that switch - which was the goal of this feature - we've still not opened the actual connector traffic will use. Traffic is still using the old connector, which used to be part of a left-hand exit ramp.
Project bosses hope to have that new ramp open by the end of the school year. Once it's open crews can get to work on the new northbound I-35 exit to Rittiman Road, which will weave under the new connector and the northbound I-410 connector to northbound I-35, merging with the I-410/I-35 frontage road just north of Space Center. Eliminating the exiting traffic to Rittiman from the merge of the two busy interstates will contribute significantly to easing congestion in the area.

Rittiman Road intersection
While we're on the topic of Rittiman Road, the north-to-south turnaround could open as early as the start of March. We're also hoping to have currently closed ramps between Rittiman and Eisenhauer to reopen by April, which will launch crews into the next stages of work (and a new list of closed ramps).
Just getting the ramps and the turnaround open at Rittiman won't solve everything, however. We have scheduled a full reconstruction of the road at this intersection, which will require closures later on. As we get nearer to this work we'll have closures to announce (we're a few months away right now). This reconstruction should address some of the clearance issues we've seen with large trucks.
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