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Thursday, October 20

Mail Bag: I-10 from Leon Springs to Boerne

Over the last 4-6 weeks we've had a few questions about the various I-10 projects now active between Leon Springs and Boerne. For those not familiar, here's a brief list of what we've got going:
We've also got an expansion project coming to I-10 in 2017, where we'll be adding two lanes in each direction between La Cantera Parkway and Ralph Fair Road ... but we've not started that yet, so we won't say much about it here for now.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the questions:

First, love your blog!
What are the current projected timelines for the remaining work from Ralph Fair to Fair Oaks on I-10, namely: 
  • New Bridge at Old Fredericksburg Rd 
  • Bridge at Fair Oaks Rd 
  • Conversion of frontage roads to one-way 
Also, is the westbound exit to Fair Oaks Rd scheduled to be moved farther east before the frontage roads are converted to one-way. 
I remember reading that all this work would take at least three more years, but can't find that blog post.
Thanks for keeping us updated!
- AJ
Can you provide an update on when the sections between dominion, Boerne stage road, and Ralph Fair will be complete? What is delaying the opening of the lanes on the frontage roads?
- Christina
Project update on the I-10 Old Fredericksburg Road overpass? Still on schedule? Whats with the uneven bumpy widening of the east bound frontage road south of Fair Oaks Parkway overpass?
- Peter
The completion date for the overpass at Old Fred is still targeted for mid-2018. Sundt is staying on pace with work on this job and trying to speed up where possible. Don't tell too many folks, but they gained nine days on their schedule last month!
Conversion of the frontage roads to one-way between RFR and FOP will happen when we finish the overpass at Old Fred. Again, that's mid-2018.
Sundt is working hard on the outside of the frontage roads right now, as well as building up the approaches to the new overpass bridge. If all goes well the bridge supporting drill shafts will be finished this month, allowing concrete crews to start making the support columns through the month of November. On the frontage roads, Sundt wants to be all done with driveway construction before Thanksgiving (sidewalks will be under construction through the rest of the year).
By the way, Sundt is getting their subcontractor (Austin Materials) to address the bumpy ride on the frontage roads, as well as repairing a couple of potholes that are forming on the main lanes.
The bridge at Fair Oaks just started this month (Oct. 3) and should wrap up mid-2018. We'll be monitoring this one close to keep it on track. 

Why do your personnel only work one, and at the most, two days a week on a project and then there is no further work until the next week when they may or may not work one or two days again. Why can't you finish a project in a timely fashion rather than taking up to 2 years to finish and then blaming the weather when the project goes beyond it's estimated completion date. 
To me, it's not the weather, it's the inefficient method of construction. 
I live in the I-10W corridor and now have found out it will take 18 months to put in a new bridge at the FOR exit!
- Gayle
Why does it appear that there is no work occurring in the construction zones on both the west and east bound frontage roads on I-10 between Boerne Stage Rd and Ralph Fair Rd. The area in front of LaQuinta that appeared is be mostly complete is closed adds to the congestion in that area. I never see anyone working there. The same is true with the Frontage Rd eastbound in front on the new WalMart. Opening this section would relieve congestion at Boerne Stage Rd. What's the delay?
- Robert
Why is it your contractors cannot finish just one project? The construction you are doing between the Dominion and Ralph Fair is absolutely terrible. There are literally thousands of residents terribly inconvenienced because of a lack of proper project planning. Your inability to even finish the Ralph Fair area is forcing so many people to be late for work and school. And now you want to start the Fair Oaks project, which is going to be even more of a nightmare without a proper turn around lane, that so many of us will be forced to use.
- Dave

First of all, we feel pretty similar about the pace of production and are trying to spur along the work wherever we can. Texas Sterling is keeping with their current baseline schedule, which reflects delays from utilities and from weather - the utility delays were particularly hampering for this project. Those delays have now pushed work well beyond our initial project completion date and Texas Sterling no longer has the available resources to knock the job out (those resources were committed elsewhere some time ago). With a full compliment we might have the job finished by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately that's not the hand we are dealt on this job and we're pushing the best we can to finish by the end of the year. 
With that in mind, TSC is dividing their forces between work items on the eastbound frontage road near Wal-Mart (need to have the full section finished before reopening this) and east of Boerne Stage (still a lot to do to build the new on-ramp, which will allow them to build the new exit; the remaining work on the frontage road itself will then follow).
On the westbound side TSC still has curb and sidewalk between Dominion and Fralo's. that bridge at Boerne Stage which has gummed up the elementary school commute lacks bridge rails and approaches, and is currently set to open by Thanksgiving. The last bit, approaching Ralph Fair, has been opened up a bit recently but TSC still has the new RFR exit to finish tying in - that will happen when the bridge by Rudy's is open. 
Bottom line - TSC is devoting all their available resources to the project and they're keeping pace with the schedule they've submitted to us. We're trying to find areas to improve the pace, but this is the deal we've got for right now.
As for the relationship of this project to others, folks should note each project out there has a different contractor. RELMCo Incorporated has the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge, and that work shouldn't impact at all the project schedule on the project at Boerne Stage Road.

It appears that construction has stopped on the I-10 and Scenic Loop project in Boerne. What's the story?
- Pamela
The simple answer is we've got a quality control issue the contractor is looking for a fix on. When Austin Bridge and Road put in a temporary wire wall - that wire-mesh wall acting as a temporary retaining wall to allow crews to build the bridge approach and the permanent retaining wall simultaneously - our inspectors noticed some problems. We've been working the last week or two to find a fix, and the folks at Austin Bridge have submitted some paperwork to our bridge division to show what they have will indeed work.
Until it's all ironed out, they really can't do much. Since this is an issue caused by the contractor, we are still charging time against the contract, so this could cost Austin Bridge a bit if it's left untended too long.
We're hoping to see progress on that bridge resume next week. If our engineers disagree with the Austin Bridge position on the current wire wall, we will require them to tear down everything and start over - at their cost. Right now, though progress is minimal (or, as you've pointed out, non-existent), everyone on the project is actually trying to save a little time (and, yes, money).
In the meantime, and to Austin Bridge's credit, they are doing work down on the intersection area as they are able during this down time.