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Saturday, July 23

New exit to Ralph Fair Road

Holy smokes, that snuck up on us!
If you drive westbound I-10 and exit Ralph Fair Road, hopefully you've seen the digital message boards posted the last two weeks.
Some of us don't do that daily, though, and the change that happened Thursday night just snuck right up on us. So let's get to a few brief questions we're sure you've got (because we certainly would).

What's the change
Those yet to drive it don't know, but we opened a new westbound exit ramp to Ralph Fair Road Thursday night. The ramp is a few hundred feet east of the old ramp, and doesn't allow for the right turns. That means you can't exit Ralph Fair and double back to reach Aue Road or the Fairview shopping center.

Is this permanent?
The new ramp is only temporary. We'll say that again: THIS IS NOT PERMANENT. The ramp we opened allows Texas Sterling Construction to reconstruct the old ramp per the plans. This one is just temporary (is that clear by now?). It should only be in play until September (though we're hoping to have everyone back onto the permanent ramp by mid-August).

What about that right turn?
Here's the rub: the right-turn movement coming off that ramp isn't coming back.
We'll give you a moment to yell at us here, throw stuff at the screen, etc.
We're looking into some options, but the plans call for a normal one-way exit ramp here. That's a bit tricky for folks, because that road between Boerne Stage Road and the Fairview shopping center will be two-way when we're all said and done. But you won't be able to get there by taking that exit ramp, if you're coming from San Antonio.
You'll have to go through Leon Springs instead.
If taking that right turn off the ramp and hitting Aue Road was your shortcut, we're sorry. That's not there for you anymore (but you can go up to Old Fred Road and double back to Aue...).

What the heck?
To be completely honest, this was a detail we missed in our communications efforts. We were under the assumption that right turn off the Ralph Fair exit ramp would be preserved. 
There's no excuses here, just an apology - we dropped the communications ball here. This is the design and the plan put forth in the public meetings leading up to this project, and this is a detail we missed.
We're sorry.

Good news?
On the bright side of things, that new westbound entrance ramp from Dominion Drive should be opened and in use by the end of next week. That means folks headed west coming through Dominion Drive won't need to go through Leon Springs anymore - which should take a little traffic pressure off the Leon Springs area. It also means those folks who get stuck on the frontage roads trying to circumvent traffic on the main lanes will have a way around Leon Springs as well, making that area just a little nicer to drive. 

When will this project FINALLY be done?
That's a difficult question to answer. Truthfully, we think there's a good chance to get finished with this project well before Halloween. That's if we can get Texas Sterling Construction to dedicate resources to the project, of course. We have some minor work (mostly curb work and sidewalks) to get the frontage roads across the entire project, with the exception of the eastbound frontage road between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive, opened up in about two weeks. That's assuming we'll see the resources given to the project to have that done.
We just saw traffic across the Leon Creek bridge near Rudy's switched over to the new structure; Texas Sterling Construction will begin working on the opposite side of the bridge early next week.
Truthfully, work on that bridge should take just a couple of months.
Again, we're aiming at having this work done and out of the way by Halloween.