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Thursday, May 26

Walnut Avenue to open TODAY (and other New Braunfels updates)

It's been a while since our last update on projects in the New Braunfels area ... and now we've got something kind of major happening today. Here's the scoop:

Walnut Avenue
Lead with the biggest story, right? By the end of business today we'll have Walnut Avenue opened up to traffic. It'll only be one lane in each direction (so, basically, exactly what was out there when we shut things down last year).
Traffic will be using the center lanes to traverse the hill. Crews are still doing concrete work across the project, so we're keeping those outside lanes closed the next several weeks while crews wrap things up.
The center line is striped and traffic cones mark the closed-off outside lanes. Walnut Ave should be ready to open today.
Once concrete work is complete paving crews will lay the final surface of asphalt to give a final product. We hope that final product will be delivered by the end of July.

FM 306
One of the biggest issues along FM 306 near New Braunfels is the traffic load at the intersection of Hoffman Lane - largely due to school in the mornings and in the afternoons.
We currently have a project going between Hoffman and Hunter that's expanding FM 306 to four lanes (plus a center left-turn lane and shoulders large enough for bicycles), and we're right now about one-third the way through this project. By the way, we have another project set to go for bids later this year that will extend this work on out to River Chase.
At any rate, we've been asked about the impact on that approach to Hoffman Elementary School. Here's what we'll have things looking like when we're finished:
Just for comparison, here's what's out there now:
Note only one through lane in each direction and the lack of sidewalks and bike areas ... the finished product will be a huge help to folks driving through the region on the daily.

Hwy 46 at US 281
If you're thinking how embarrassing it must be for us to see so much infrastructure pop up around us faster than it's taken for us to build some simple turnarounds, you're absolutely right. Those turnarounds should have been finished months ago, and we're still docking CRG about $20,000 each month we're not finished. The latest estimates show the project wrapping up before school starts this fall; we plan to do all we can to see this job finished earlier than that, even, if possible.

FM 1101
Most of the utility conflicts that have kept us from doing this work (and, yes, we've been waiting more than a year and a half on this now) are out of the way. At this point the project hinges on some discussions between our higher administrative folks and their counterparts with Hunter Industries. When Hunter bid the project in 2014, they did so under prices valid in 2014. Well, it's been two years and things have changed. Both parties are looking for an equitable middle ground to settle on and allow work to get going.
Once work begins - which we hope will be very soon - we expect about a year and a half of overall construction time.