May 2016 has brought some of the worst flooding on record in Texas. Flash floods brought by torrential downpours seems to have become a way of life the last year-plus. East Texas - particularly around Houston - has been hit the worst, logging more than 100 inches of rainfall since March 2015. Bexar County sits at some 60-70 inches over that period, by the way.
Still, as wet as it's been, let's not forget last May was worse - we got nearly 8 inches of rain in a single month at that point. (The infographic and those memes making their way through Facebook right now are actually about last May, not the one that just finished....)
At any rate, it's been a really wet spring. The impacts to our daily lives have been well documented and you've heard us make the #TurnAroundDontDrown cry pretty darned often. Heck, we even posted on it.
Now the water is receding and we're seeing sunnier skies. We're not out of the wet just yet - more is predicted for the weekend - but we're getting a break. With the sun out, so are our construction crews. In some areas you'll likely see activity pick up to a flurry to try to make up for any potentially lost time.
With that in mind, here's a run-down of the impacts of the rain on our biggest of construction projects (if we miss a project you're interested in, let us know by submitting a question for our mail bag).
Walnut Ave - Despite the wet weather crews with Dean Word were able to open Walnut to a single lane each direction before the Memorial Day weekend. Crews still have quite a bit of concrete work remaining to finish the job. That work should be wrapped up in July.
FM 306 - Hunter Industries hasn't seen any major impacts due to weather, and are moving forward with the expansion of FM 306 between Hunter Road and Hoffman Lane.
Boerne/Fair Oaks Ranch
I-10 at Scenic Loop Road - Wet weather set crews back about two weeks on their efforts to expand the intersection of Scenic Loop Road at I-10. That said, we fully expect this project should recover the time over the course of the summer. If you drive this area, expect to see work intensify with warmer and dryer weather.
I-10 Fair Oaks Ranch - The biggest impact has been the delay of moving traffic of the I-10 main lanes over away from the median area, where the bulk of construction will take place as we build a new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road. That traffic shift was scheduled to happen mid-May; we were only able to get that done on the eastbound side. Right now Sundt Construction is aiming to have the westbound side shifted late June.
I-10 Leon Springs - A lot of the work on the new exit and entrance ramps between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive has been pushed back a couple of weeks, but Texas Sterling Construction is confident they'll be able to make up that time over the summer. That means, of course, a lot more activity as weather allows - we're trying to wrap this project up as close to the end of summer as we can.
I-35 near SAMMC - The asphalt work planned for the last four weeks on the main lanes near Splashtown keeps getting pushed back, and is again slated to happen this weekend (expect major main lane closures for that work). We still have concrete work as well. This project was all set to wrap up right about now until the rain started pummeling us in April; right now we're looking at wrapping up in July. As for work on the interchanges at I-410 and the new exits and entrances at Rittiman, Eisenhauer and Walzem ... well, LANE Construction is telling us the delays haven't been anything they can't make up over the summer.
FM 78 - This work to widen FM 78 under Loop 1604 out in the Converse/Universal City area has actually pushed back a full month due to weather. The biggest victim to RELMCo's work here is the new roadway base for the widened portions - it's tough, after all, to get good compaction on fine dirt when the rain just won't stop. This project, to be frank, is still waiting for the ground to dry out enough to begin that base work before it starts progressing again at a good pace.
Loop 1604 Northwest - Somehow Williams Brothers Construction seems to remain relatively unfazed by the rain, but will be on a much-bolstered work schedule to have expansion of Loop 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads complete by next week. This will require a slew of (let's be honest) frustrating closures drivers will encounter, but the consolation is the fact we're at the end of the job. These closures are allowing crews to lay asphalt and paint, which are about all that's left to do on the job. We still have some concrete work - which will also require occasional frontage road closures - but the bottom line is work should be wrapped up next week. Again, if this is your commute, expect to see intermittent delays through the end of next week ... and then thing should be a whole lot better.
Hwy 151 and I-410 - Well, the old eastbound on-ramp from Potranco still isn't open and the driveways in and out of Westover Marketplace are still being worked on. This is all stuff that had initially been anticipated to be finished in April, for those keeping track. Then April rains washed us back. Then May rains came, and kept on coming. We're hoping for a much more dry June to help us get this stuff all done. The good news is Williams Brothers Construction has kept their bridge crews busy, getting as much aerial work done as possible. This should minimize the overall delay on this project, which is set to finish in 2018.