Thursday, February 4

Comal County projects roundup

It's been a while - like, since at least last year. Isn't it about time we gave a run-down on the happenings in and around Comal County?
Here's a look:

Walnut Hill
To put it simply, Dean Word Company is nearly three-quarters the way done with the project. The most visible portion of the project, though - the full closure of Walnut Avenue between Grandview and Floral - has been stretched even further over the last month. Initially slated to reopen mid-December, we are now looking at waiting for late March to reopen the roadway. The biggest reason here is safety.
The original plan called for opening Walnut Avenue to one lane each way. Concerns of rubber-necking through a canyon with limited sight distances has led project bosses to work with city officials and come to a later opening agreement.
A lot of work remains, but construction is progressing well. Crews have begun setting up a sound wall along the canyon and are finishing up drain structures. Perhaps nicest for those living in the immediate vicinity, cleanup at the top of the hill has begun while crews prepare to do concrete work.

Loop 337 at Ridge Hill
The striping contractor is scheduled to come through early next week to restripe the roadway and provide for a new left-turn lane. We are also working to add a new ditch line to the project and fix the barricades that have occasionally drifted into the travel lanes.

FM 1101
To be completely honest, we're still waiting on a private utility to complete work they began more than a year ago. Current estimates place completion of the utility work sometime this spring. We will then move forward with the project.

US 281 at Hwy 46
The biggest thing to report her is we're more than 80 percent of the way finished with this project. This project has admittedly moved extremely slow and we are assessing the contractor, CRG, appropriate liquidated damages. With the walls nearly complete, dirt crews will begin grading the new turnarounds next week with the aim to start laying asphalt by the middle of the month. We are holding bi-weekly meetings with the contractor to keep them moving, and hope to have work complete in time for summer.

FM 306
Hunter Industries is moving along well, working primarily on drain structures and extensions to existing box culverts. As a relatively new project, we don't have much else to report at this time. This project is scheduled to finish up in 2017.

I-35 ramp reversals
The only thing we really have left at this point is a quick resurfacing of the southbound frontage road. That should eliminate the issues we have with the glare during certain times of the day.

Upcoming projects
Lots of work is coming on the horizon, but here are the highlights:
  • Resurfacing of I-35 between Solms Rd and the river. This work should start late spring or early summer. This should only feature overnight work.
  • Pedestrian and bike facility improvements along Landa Street. This work will begin this summer.
  • Rehabilitate Hwy 46 between I-35 and FM 758. This is an extensive repair job that will start this fall.
  • Reconstruct the I-35 bridge at FM 1103 and widen FM 1103 between I-35 and Steele High School. This work is programmed for early 2017.
  • Loop 337 expansion. We're actually working to make this a one-piece project rather than complete work in segments as initially planned. We hope to begin work mid-2017.
  • Expansion of Hwy 46 in Bulverde. This is currently planned for late 2017.

Upcoming meetings
You're getting everything with this post! Don't miss out on some MAJOR meetings we have coming up. Mark these on your calendar and be sure to join us to give your thoughts on some very important issues:
  • Feb. 16, 6p-8p at Eden Hill. Open house forum regarding future work on Loop 337.
  • March 1, 6p-8p at the New Braunfels Civic Center. Metropolitan Planning Organization presentation on projects being considered for federal funding.
  • March 3, 5p-7p at Smithson Valley High School. Open house forum regarding the expansion of Hwy 46 in Bulverde.
  • March 29, 5p-7p at Steele High School. Open house forum regarding future work on FM 1103.