Wednesday, March 16

Northwest San Antonio project round-up

More than a few projects are active in the northwest part of San Antonio. Here's a brief look at our major ones:

US 90 (I-410 to Lp 1604)
This project adds an auxiliary lane in each direction to the main lanes, converts the frontage roads to one-way and adds a new west-to-east turnaround at Lp 1604. It began about six months ago and is on pace to wrap up mid-2017.
The big-picture news is we'll have the frontage roads converted to one-way by the start of May. The new east-to-west turnaround at Lp 1604 will open right around the end of the school year.
Weather impacts
We've not seen dramatic impacts from inclement weather, but we did see work scheduled last week to set those bridge support beams for the turnaround pushed back due to the high winds and storm that blew through. That work - and the full closure of US 90 that goes with it - will happen Thursday night this week. Traffic will exit Lp 1604, pass through the intersection and re-enter the highway.
On the horizon
After Easter we also expect to see an overnight closure of the westbound main lanes of US 90 at Hunt Lane while crews set bridge support beams for the new bridge over Medio Creek, being built in halves as part of the expansion of US 90 on this project. A detour plan for that work will be published prior to the closure, but it's important to note this will be an overnight closure and should not impact daily commuters.
When the frontage roads are converted to one-way, traffic will have just one lane open. Part of the project includes reconstruction of the frontage roads, which is done in halves. When work is complete, both frontage roads will have two lanes in operation.

151-410 interchange
This project adds direct connectors for traffic from eastbound Hwy 151 to northbound I-410 and from southbound I-410 to westbound Hwy 151. Some operational improvements and an added lane in each direction of I-410 is also part of this project. Work started late 2015 and will wrap up late 2017.
This week's overnight closures of the southbound frontage road of I-410, discussed last week, is the highest-impact work slated for the time being.
Project bosses have made getting the columns and column caps for the direct connector from eastbound Hwy 151 to northbound I-410 complete the highest priority - particularly those around the eastbound on-ramp from Potranco Road. That ramp has been closed for several months and was initially expected to be closed until the end of this year; Williams Brothers Construction is working hard to get this ramp opened up well ahead of that initial time frame.
The next priority work areas will be the columns and caps for the connector serving southbound I-410 to westbound Hwy 151, so the westbound Hwy 151 exit to Potranco can re-open, and the bridge structure along the I-410 northbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Military Drive.

Loop 1604 expansion
This project converts Lp 1604 to an expressway with overpasses and frontage roads between Bandera and Culebra roads and significantly upgrades the intersection of Hwy 151 and Lp 1604. Work began March 2014 and will wrap up the middle of this year, with the intersection at Hwy 151 finishing up the end of this year.
Williams Brothers Construction has marked the first week of April to open the new southbound main lanes of Loop 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads. This is at least two months ahead of the last timeline discussed, and nearly six months ahead of initial project completion projections. Details of what that opening will look like will come next week.
Right on the heels of the southbound opening will come the opening of the northbound main lanes, expected to be just a few weeks behind the southbound side. Several smaller work items will remain on the project as work continues, but the major traffic shifts will be in place to improve traffic flow through the corridor.
The direct connector for southbound Lp 1604 to eastbound Hwy 151 is the most visible piece of the intersection improvements, and is on pace to be ready for use this fall.