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Wednesday, September 14

One more along I-10 set to start: Fair Oaks Pkwy bridge

We met earlier this week with the contractor that will expand the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge, RELMCo Incorporated, to discuss the $7.6 million project that will take about 18 months to finish. Crews will be on site and working October 3.

When finished (spring 2018) the new bridge will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction and be realigned to join Fair Oaks Parkway to Tarpon Drive. The old bridge will be reconstructed to serve as a west-to-east turnaround, facilitating the one-way frontage road conversion now underway between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway. Oh, and we'll have traffic signals at this intersection (replacing the stop signs existing today).

Because we'll be reconstructing a bridge, we have a lot of overhead work that will require closing both I-10 and the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge. We want to set the expectation now: we expect about 10 full closures of I-10 during the duration of this project. These will typically be limited to nights and weekends. The demolition work will require long nights, meaning we'll start early on a Friday and be cleaned up Saturday. The beam setting will require weekend closures due to trucking restrictions (trucks are not able to move the beams overnight).

When those closures happen we'll let you know right here, and provide some input on how to avoid the traffic associated with them.

This project carries stiff milestones that feature disincentives (kind of like penalties, but not actually penalties) ranging between $3,000 per day and $12,000 per day. These are intended to keep the project moving at a quick pace and minimize delays.

Not really ... many of us are right there,
elbow-to-elbow with you in the traffic snarl.
This adds one more construction project to the already busy Leon Springs-Fair Oaks Ranch area. We already have work on the frontage roads around Boerne Stage Road and an active project between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway. We hear often we ought to wait for one project to finish before another begins, but in order for what we're doing (or trying to do) to work we need all these items to be finished. These projects may be separate, but they are incredibly interconnected.

We also are very aware of the additional strain that will no doubt come as folks from both Leon Springs and Fair Oaks Ranch look to reach I-10. Traffic is pinched as it is - particularly due to the limited access points for these regions. The good news: when we're done with the work on I-10 at Old Fredericksburg Road we'll have a third access point opened up. Also, we should have a much better flow of traffic on these arterial feeders. In the interim we will remain vigilant in facilitating traffic flow the very best we can and make changes to the way things are done our there as they become necessary.

That said, here's fair warning: we're not done. We have an expansion project slated for the I-10 main lanes coming in about a year and a half. That will impact traffic between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway.