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Friday, March 31

Next week's construction-related closures

So ... you might want to take a long look at what we've got going on I-35 next weekend. And on I-410 next week.
 
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Wednesday-Friday, April 5-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between Fair Oaks Parkway and Ralph Fair Road. The left lane will close while crews work on guardrail.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Sunday, April 2. 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Southbound frontage road between Walnut and Schmidt avenues. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Sunday, April 2. 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. Southbound main lanes between Walnut Avenue and Rueckle Road. The two right lanes will close while crews set barrier.
  • Sunday-Monday, April 2-3. 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Walnut Avenue and Rueckle Road. All lanes will close while crews restripe the road. Traffic will take exit 185, follow the frontage road and use the next available entrance ramp.
  • Monday, April 3 at 6 a.m. until Monday, April 24 at 6 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Walnut Avenue and Rueckle Road. The right lane will remain closed while crews repair the roadway.
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, April 2-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Rittiman Road and George Beach. The two right lanes will close while crews move barrier. This closure includes the ramp to southbound I-410. Traffic will take the next exit, turn around and approach from northbound I-35.
  • Sunday-Friday, April 2-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Rittiman Road and George Beach. The right two lanes will close while crews move barrier.
  • Friday, April 7 at 9 p.m. until Monday, April 10 at 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Rittiman Road and George Beach. All lanes will close while crews demolish the old connector to southbound I-410. Southbound traffic will exit George Beach and re-enter the highway at the next available ramp. Northbound traffic will exit I-410, turn around at Binz-Engleman and continue along northbound I-410 to return to northbound I-35. We will have all lanes reopened between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, April 8 to accommodate traffic headed to the AT&T Center for the scheduled Spurs game.
I-37 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Monday, April 3 until Monday, April 10. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Fair Avenue and I-10. The right lane will close while crews install guardrail.
  • Monday, April 3 until Monday, April 10. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between E. Commerce Street and Brooklyn Avenue. The right lane will close while crews work on bridge railing.
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 30, 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Friday-Saturday, March 31-April 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between US Hwy 90 and Marbach Road. The right two lanes will close while crews rebuild the road.
  • Sunday-Monday, April 2-3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound frontage road between Military Drive and Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will use Richland Hills and Ingram Road to reach its destination.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, April 5-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Marbach and Culebra roads. All lanes will close while crews restripe the roadway. Traffic will exit Hwy 151 and continue along the frontage road through Culebra Road and use the next available ramp. Traffic officers will control traffic at the intersections.
  • Thursday-Friday, April 6-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Ingram and Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews restripe the road. Traffic will exit Culebra Road, follow the frontage road through Hwy 151 and use the next available on-ramp. Traffic officers will control traffic at the intersections.
I-410 – Southwest San Antonio
  • Friday-Saturday, March 31-April 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Eastbound main lanes at Somerset Road. The two right lanes will close while crews do roadwork.
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, April 2-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Rhapsody and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Sunday-Friday, April 2-7. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between I-35 and I-410. The right lane will closed while crews do road work. This closure includes ramps as needed.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Tuesday, April 3-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Westbound frontage road between I-410 and Ingram Road. The left lane will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, April 3-7. 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Dugas Drive and West Military Drive. The left lane will close while crews install raised concrete medians.
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, March 29

US 281 expansion about to kick off

The headline is no typo, and April Fools is still a few days away.
No, this is for real.
Unless you're a total newbie to San Antonio, you're well aware of the long saga that has been the proposed expansion of US 281 north of Loop 1604.
Friday morning Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Texas Transportation Commissioner J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., will host state and local elected representatives and other transportation stakeholders to break ground on the expansion of U.S. 281 between Loop 1604 and the Bexar-Comal county line in north San Antonio.
Part of the expansion falls under the statewide congestion relief initiative known as Texas Clear Lanes.
The $374.3 million expansion project will be constructed in two phases. The first phase of the U.S. 281 expansion will actually begin construction in May and adds non-tolled express lanes between Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway. The Texas Tranpsortation Commission awarded the $192.3 million contract to Webber Construction last month.
The second phase, which will begin in 2019, starts just north of Stone Oak Parkway and continues to the county line.
We'll have more details next week about the project and how it will impact you during the four years it will take to complete.
The event Friday begins at 10:30 a.m. and will wrap up around 11:30 a.m. We will live-stream the event via Twitter for those interested in tuning in.

Monday, March 27

Some full roadway closures coming up soon

We have three major closures - full closures, in fact - that missed Friday's lane closures post. We'll work through them chronologically.


Potranco Road
Tuesday-Friday, March 28-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. All lanes of Potranco Road will close between Empressario and American Lotus while crews place concrete bridge beams at the Medio Creek Bridge. Traffic will use Grosenbacher and Military Drive to reach its destination.
This work is being done by crews working on behalf of Bexar County Public Works as they expand Potranco Road between Loop 1604 and Hwy 211.


I-35 - New Braunfels
Tuesday, March 28. 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Northbound frontage road between Schmidt and Walnut avenues. The left lane will close while crews move barrier.
Tuesday, March 28. 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. Northbound main lanes between Schmidt and Walnut avenues. The right two lanes will close while crews move barrier.
Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30. 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Schmidt and Walnut avenues. All lanes will close while crews move barrier and restripe the road. Traffic will exit Walnut Ave, continue through the intersection and use the next available ramp to re-enter the highway.
This work means Angel Brothers Construction has finished early that milestone reducing the northbound main lanes by one lane. Come Thursday morning - four days faster than promised - we'll have traffic back to full capacity.
Those who remember our earlier post on this work know we're going to turn around and do something similar on the southbound side right there at Walnut Avenue. We do not currently have that work scheduled, though we do expect it to start early in April - most likely on a Sunday night. That, too, will be a three-week milestone with the main lanes reduced around-the-clock to allow for road restoration.


I-35 SAMMC
You know that old southbound connector to I-410 that's being used right now? And how we've got a new connector that's been sitting - unused - for about a year?
Well, we're ready to let you use the new one. That means we're also demolishing the old one. Here's how it impacts traffic:
Thursday-Friday, April 6-7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Rittiman Road and George Beach. Alternating lanes will close while crews switch traffic onto the new connector ramp. Traffic headed to I-410 will exit George Beach and turn around, then approach from the northbound frontage road.
Friday, April 7 at 9 p.m. until Monday, April 10 at 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Rittiman Road and George Beach will close while crews demolish the old bridge. Traffic in both directions will exit the highway and follow frontage roads to the next available ramp to reach its destination. Please note we will have all lanes reopened between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday night for a "Spurs Break".
That's right - the "Spurs Break" is back. While it attracted some small criticism (where else would a state highway department plan work completely around a basketball game?), it worked very well the last time we did this. Because of that success, we're bringing it back. Saturday night the Spurs play the Clippers, and while that's happening we won't be doing any demo work. As soon as the Silver and Black secure the win, though, we'll be back to work.



The I-10 corridor: all the latest

We've had more than a few questions about the I-10 corridor (we have four active projects between Dominion Drive and Scenic Loop Road right now). We had started doing a video post for this corridor, but the footage is now outdated so we've scrapped it. Simply put, we've got a lot of info to get out to y'all. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen ... we're gonna dive in and this one may take a bit. We'll try to be brief, but thorough.

Questions
Nicole asked us about the timing for the signal at Ralph Fair Road, the future ramp configuration between Fair Oaks Parkway and Ralph Fair Road and about the new intersection at Old Fred Road we're working on. (Sorry to paraphrase your questions rather than get them out verbatim through a Mail Bag post, Nicole.)
The signal issue is a recurrent issue and has more to do with capacity of the roadway than the actual timing of the signal. (Sure, easy to say from behind a keyboard ... we're confident the issue feels like a timing issue in the morning rush....) We hate to say "trust us", but ... well, trust us. The issue is capacity and, until we get that intersection set up to its final configuration with one-way traffic all around, you won't see anything truly helpful with timing adjustments. Remember: in order to get an extra 5-10 seconds of green time for one traffic source we have to add 5-10 seconds of red time to the other traffic sources.
That leads us to the rest of Nicole's question: what will things look like when we're done with the frontage roads between Ralph Fair and Old Fred. If you'd like a picture, it's here. Basically, though, we're going to have entrance and exit ramps in both directions between Ralph Fair and Old Fred. The folks coming from Old Fred that now have to sit through the signal at Ralph Fair will have an on-ramp allowing them to bypass the signal each morning.
And yes, we will have signals at the intersection of I-10 and Old Fred Road/Buckskin Drive.
Another issue with that intersection of Ralph Fair and I-10 pointed out by Andrew highlights the poor habit of folks using the turnaround and stopping at the end of the west-to-east turnaround on the bridge. He says many folks are trying (even during heavy morning hours) to dive across several frontage road lanes to reach their favorite breakfast spots on their way in to work. The problem here is access to these restaurants from the turnaround is not intended.
Let's put that another way: if you're diving from the turnaround to Whataburger, you're doing it wrong. Don't get us wrong; we love Whataburger (and other eateries). It's just that the intent of the turnaround is to get traffic either to the eastbound entrance ramp from Ralph Fair Road or to get traffic to Boerne Stage Road. When you stop there and wait so you can get your morning taquitos, you're holding up hundreds of other folks who are trying to get to work and you're becoming part of the congestion problem.
You're literally stopped in the middle of the road. Just like this guy.
If you need those taquitos, use the signalized intersection. We hope we don't need to install medians or curbs or those delineator paddles to help folks understand this.

Leon Springs schedule
First of all, a huge kudos to the folks with Texas Sterling Construction. When we posted on the traffic shifts along the eastbound frontage road of I-10 between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive we said the single-lane situation would remain for the whole of March. We also promised to get off-duty police to control traffic flow during mornings.
Well, we had the off-duty officer out there, and it seemed to help quite a bit. As for the duration of that single lane?
Well, again, credit Texas Sterling Construction. They pushed to adjust the way they went about their business working on the new eastbound exit to Dominion Drive to allow that second lane of the frontage road to open up and get traffic somewhat near normal. They're still working on that new ramp, which should be ready to open by the end of the month.
That means our overall project should be just about wrapped up by the end of that first week of April. We'll still have some minor items remaining, but traffic will be in its final configuration well before Easter hits.

Old Fred Road schedule
The next major item to come about on I-10 is having traffic move onto the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road. That change will come a lot sooner than many folks might think, so spread the word on this.
With bridge support beams set and deck panels almost all in place, crews are just about ready to pour concrete. That's actually scheduled to happen in April (and will require minor overnight closures we'll let you know about when the time comes).
Sundt is pushing slightly ahead of schedule on this project (our guys on the field hate when we say that publicly...) and we're hoping to have traffic up on the new overpass this summer. Once the main lanes are up on the overpass we'll get to work on the new intersection there of I-10 and Fred Road. That intersection, again, will indeed include signals.
Once that intersection is ready for use - and only after - we'll convert the frontage road to one-way between Ralph Fair and Old Fred. We're expecting that to happen the first part of 2018. Sundt will then turn their attention to the frontage roads and ramps between Old Fred and Fair Oaks Parkway.
Overall completion is still sitting mid-2018.

Fair Oaks Parkway schedule
So then there's the bridge reconstruction at Fair Oaks Parkway itself. This is a separate project from the Sundt job, being done by RELMCo Inc.
Right now they're getting the support structures for what will be the west-to-east turnaround built. We're hoping soon to be able to hang beams and pour concrete (which will require full closures of I-10, which we'll announce when those become imminent) in the next month or so.
Once the new turnaround bridge is finished (it's actually a separate structure from the overpass bridge itself) we'll move traffic over to that turnaround. We'll still have one lane in each direction so, though the movement will be a bit awkward, you'll still have the same level of service you've got right now.
With traffic over on the turnaround bridge we'll demo the old bridge and build the new one - a process that will take about nine months. Overall completion is still on target for mid-2018.

Scenic Loop Road schedule
Before we delve into anything else, let's be clear on one thing: we are not moving the exit and entrance ramps for Scenic Loop Road as part of this project. Please let your friends and neighbors know this, as it persists as a rumor we get calls on weekly.
Again, we are not moving the ramps to or from Scenic Loop Road as part of the current project.
We absolutely will move these ramps with the conversion of those frontage roads to one-way, but that work is on our radar but currently unfunded. We're hoping to get after it as early as late 2018, but we could end up pushing that back a bit if funding doesn't work out.
Austin Bridge recently moved traffic over off the old eastbound lanes to start work on that new bridge structure, and things are simply moving right along. Once we have that new structure built we'll move traffic, again, then go to work replacing the old westbound lanes. We're hoping to have this project finished up and done by early 2018 - but Austin Bridge is trying to sneak this one in a little earlier than that. Let's all hope the weather cooperates....

The bottom line
The middle of next year will treat motorists pretty well along this corridor ... at least, for a short while. As a reminder, we do have an expansion of the I-10 main lanes between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway coming up, and that's set to start late this year. That project will likely take about three years to build.

Friday, March 24

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, March 31. 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Westbound frontage road between FM 1516 and Foster Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews build drain structures. One-way traffic will be controlled by flaggers.
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Sunday-Monday, March 26-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Eastbound main lanes between Boerne Stage Road and Dominion Drive. The right lane will close while crews lay asphalt.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Current until Monday, April 10 at 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes at Walnut Avenue. The right lane will remain closed while crews repair the roadway. This closure includes the northbound entrance ramp from Schmidt Avenue. Traffic will continue through the Walnut intersection and use the next available ramp.
  • Sunday-Monday, March 26-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between the Hays-Comal county line and FM 306. Alternating lanes will close while crews fix potholes.
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Monday, March 26-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound exit to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier and repair potholes. Traffic will exit George Beach and turn around to reach southbound I-410.
  • Sunday-Thursday, March 26-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Walzem. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
I-35 – Southwest San Antonio
  • Current through Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Cassin Lane and I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Saturday, March 25. 4 a.m. until noon. Northbound main lanes between Nogalitos and Theo Malone. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work.
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Friday, March 28-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound connector to northbound I-35. The right lane will close while crews build concrete barrier.
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 30, 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Friday, March 24 at 9 p.m. until Sunday, March 26 at 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Marbach and US Hwy 90. The right two lanes will close while crews reconstruct the road. This closure includes the southbound on ramp from Marbach. Traffic will continue along the frontage road and use the next available ramp.
  • Sunday-Friday, March 26-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Military Drive and Marbach. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will follow the posted detour.
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 27-28. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic from Hwy 151 will continue east and turn left onto Military Drive to reach I-410.
  • Tuesday, March 28-Saturday, April 7. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. This closure includes the exit ramp to Hwy 151. Traffic will exit Military Drive, turn right onto Richland Hills and left onto Ingram Road to reach Hwy 151.
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, March 26-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Rhapsody and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews lay asphalt. This closure includes ramps as needed.
  • Sunday-Friday, March 26-31. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between I-35 and I-410. The right lane will closed while crews do road work. This closure includes ramps as needed.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, March 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes and frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Main lane traffic will exit I-410 and join frontage road traffic to follow the posted detour to reach its destination.
  • Current until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination.
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination.
Other roads – North San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Broadway, both directions, between Austin Highway and Patterson Avenue. The left lane will close while crews install concrete median.
Other roads – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 27-28. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Alternating lanes will close while crews paint the bridge overhead.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, March 26-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Military Drive, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will use the northbound frontage road to Culebra Road and turn around to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Friday, March 27-31. 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Hunt Lane and Military Drive. The left lane will close while crews install raised concrete medians.
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, March 22

FM 1103 (bridge) expansion to begin

So, earlier this week we addressed a question about the FM 1103 overpass at I-35.


We goofed
The answer we gave then was partially wrong - an error we've found earlier today, and would like to clear up.
The question posed was about whether the bridge would be expanded to include turnarounds as part of the FM 1103 expansion planned for mid-2019. We correctly mentioned that project would not include a bridge expansion.
Where we made the mistake was inferring the bridge expansion would come at a much later date. We try hard to make sure our Mail Bag answers are accurate and on point; we missed the boat with this one.


The reality
We received bids on the FM 1103 bridge expansion project earlier this month. Anderson Columbia submitted the lowest bid at $7.3 million and, barring something unforeseen, should be awarded the contract by the Texas Transportation Commission later this month. We plan to actually begin work on the new bridge mid-summer this year (we do not yet have a start date). We should wrap up about the start of 2019.
That means the bridge should be open and fully functional well before our start on the FM 1103 expansion between I-35 and Rodeo Way.


Finished project
When it's all done, you'll have two eastbound lanes (headed toward Schertz from I-35) and three westbound lanes (one continuing onto Hubertus Road and two turning left onto the I-35 southbound frontage road). You'll also see turnarounds - in both directions - at the bridge. This configuration should significantly improve the flow of traffic at this increasingly busy intersection.


The daily impact
During the course of construction we'll maintain one lane of traffic in each direction. This will look much like what we've done along the I-10 corridor at the intersections of Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway. Occasional full closures of I-35 will be required, and we'll make sure we let folks know about them as they come. These will likely be very major closures, impacting traffic for entire weekends.
We take that kind of stuff seriously!
To reiterate, the bridge itself will remain open through the duration of construction; it'll keep the configuration you have today. That means though you'll see orange barrels everywhere, your daily delay into work will be no more than what you're experiencing now.
Funny how those orange barrels make it seem like a lot longer, though, right?

Monday, March 20

Mail Bag: I-10 stuff, FM 1103, US 281 and more

Part two, as promised....

Regarding the ARP/WWL intersection, I know TxDOT San Antonio has received a lot of complaints about this project. I really don't have a complaint, but a suggestion. I have noticed a lack of signage directing traffic on the SB 1604 Access road to the Santiko's entrance off of the SB 1604 Access Road. The only sign is a small one liner next to the entrance. I would suggest that TxDOT place directional signage prior to Alamo Ranch Parkway to direct SB 1604 traffic to the 1604 Santiko's entrance. This may help alleviate some of the illegal left-hand turns that are occurring at the ARP/WWL intersection.
- Benjamin

You're right, Benjamin, we have gotten a lot of feedback about this intersection. We'll be making a brief post on the intersection in the next week or so.
In the meantime, you've asked a pretty common question - why not sign for Santikos off the southbound frontage road of Loop 1604? The short answer: we can't.
That little sign you're seeing was put up by Santikos. We are aware of its existence, and we're tolerating it for now. We can't put bigger signs up, and we can't direct traffic to a specific business. That's all called advertising, and TxDOT is not in the business of advertising private businesses on our right-of-way.
Santikos is welcome to do what they can to elevate the awareness of that entrance among their patrons through advertising - but cannot advertise in our right-of-way.

Why no closure info this week? Specifically looking for info on US90 Gen McMullen closure.
- Dave

Dave sent this note in to us a few weeks ago, for those wondering what he's talking about.
Dave, we're sorry we missed that post! The blog is run by a very small staff, and when we're out of the office we don't get a chance to post some of that info. The closures are sent to us by project staff and are due to communications staff by Friday at noon. That doesn't always happen. The result: we are unable to pre-load a post for next week's closures beyond getting it put together on Friday afternoons.
When we're gone on Fridays, we do what we can to get the post up as soon as we can. For instance: this week's closures were sent to media Friday early afternoon but not posted until earlier today.
We're sorry!

Y'all recently did repair work in the area of mile marker 194 on I-35 southbound. The outside lane has a section of repair that does not look like it was completed or was completed poorly. It has a rut in it that can catch a driver off guard and move a small vehicle especially, to the right unexpectedly. I drive the area everyday in a small car. Even knowing it's there it can be disturbing when I can't change lanes.
- Bob

We're still working on the rehab of the asphalt out there in that area, so we'll make sure that area gets an extra look for you, Bob. Hopefully we can address the pavement issue soon.

Do you have any updates on the FM 1103 project in Schertz & Cibolo? I have not seen the plans since the open house about a year ago. Will the bridge at I-35 get turnarounds? It would be great to see something nice similar to what TxDOT Austin did at Yarrington Road in Kyle. I like what they did, but there are a lot of busy exits that do not have turnarounds like that!
- John

For starters we're eyeing mid-2019 to get bids on the expansion of FM 1103 between I-35 and Rodeo Way. Those who missed the open house can see what we talked about online here. Heck, we've even got a summary and analysis of our public meeting there.
The quick answer to where things are at: we're busy in the right-of-way acquisition process. This can take a while, and we want to be sure it's all done before we bid the contract. Between now and then we'll make adjustments to the project as needed, but it looks like the bulk of the design presented at the open house will be what you see.
As for the bridge ... that's not part of the existing project. We'll get to that bridge reconstruction in the near future, but it's not currently included in the FM 1103 expansion. We have it on our radar, though, and as soon as we can afford to make it happen we will.


Has there been any studies on the traffic signals on UTSA Blvd and I-10 recently? Almost constantly, those turning left from the bridge of UTSA Blvd overpass towards the eastbound side will continue to keep turning for up to 15 seconds longer than the light allows. I've been at the intersection several times where I'll sit on a green for at least 20 seconds before even starting my accelerator (and the one time I didn't, I ended up in an accident). What can or should be done in this area?
- Rey
Sounds to us, Rey, like you've got a law enforcement issue going on. Have you reached out to SAPD on this matter? Any time someone is running a light that would be a moving violation. To have them continue more than 20 seconds means your green time is completely shot (green lights at intersections like this typically only remain green 20 seconds or so). If that's what's happening, you've got a major law enforcement issue that needs addressed by law enforcement.


Now that the TTC has accepted the bid from Webber Construction for the expansion of US 281 north of Loop 1604 , when will we know more about the construction schedule including road closures and traffic diversions to the new frontage roads?
- Tom

We're planning to hold a groundbreaking ceremony March 31. We won't have details of closures until a few weeks prior to work actually beginning, which looks to be by early May. We'll post more about the overall project in an upcoming post.

Can you post a project summary of the expansion of FM 1957 (Potranco) from 1604 to 211? Specifically looking for an overall project plan and anticipated schedule. Thank you (we just moved into the area and want to know what to expect and when).
- Steve

Welcome, Steve, and thank you for your service to our nation!
The short answer to your question is that the expansion of Potranco Road is actually being done by Bexar County Public Works. We don't have updates here at TxDOT, but you can reach out to the folks at Bexar County for an update.

Where on the TxDOT web site can I find the plan for expanding I-10 from the Rim to Boerne. I see the intended closures on the blog but cannot find "the diagram/plan" for the on going work? Thank you in advance.
- Glenn

We have a few sets of schematics, Glenn. Pick your favorite:
The I-10 Kendall extension builds up I-10 between Fair Oaks Pkwy and Hwy 46, including a new overpass at Balcones Creek Road and conversion of the frontage roads to one-way.
Here's a look at the future HOV lanes on I-10 between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Pkwy.
This is our information on the current work at Scenic Loop Road (and NO we are not messing with the entrance and exit ramps as part of this project!).
We have the new overpass at Old Fred Road (with concurrent frontage road conversion between Ralph Fair and Fair Oaks) that's ongoing.
Finally, the work on I-10 between Ralph Fair Road and Dominion Drive - which is set to be done by the end of this month, by the way - has information available here.

This week's construction-related closures

I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 20-21. 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Eastbound main lanes at Amanda Street. The left two lanes will close while crews move barrier and restripe the road.
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, March 21-22. 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Westbound main lanes at Amanda Street. The right two lanes will close while crews move barrier and restripe the road.
I-35 – New Braunfels 
  • Sunday, March 19. 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Northbound frontage road at Walnut Avenue. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Sunday-Monday, March 19-20. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes at Walnut Avenue. All lanes will close while crews set barrier and restripe the road. Only two lanes will close between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday night; the full closure will take effect at 11 p.m. Traffic will exit Walnut, follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway at the next available ramp.
  • Monday, March 20 at 6 a.m. until Monday, April 10 at 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes at Walnut Avenue. The right lane will remain closed while crews repair the roadway. This closure includes the northbound entrance ramp from Schmidt Avenue. Traffic will continue through the Walnut intersection and use the next available ramp.
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio 
  • Monday-Thursday, March 20-23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and George Beach. Alternating lanes will close while crews paint overhead structures.
  • Monday, March 20. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Northbound main lanes at the entrance ramp from Eisenhauer Road. The right lane will close while asphalt trucks re-enter the highway. 
I-35 – Southwest San Antonio 
  • Current through Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Cassin Lane and I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.  
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Saturday, March 18. 4 a.m. until noon. Northbound main lanes between Nogalitos and Theo Malone. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work.  
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 30, 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Sunday-Monday, March 19-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound frontage road at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will follow the posted detour to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Friday, March 20-24. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams overhead. Traffic will use Hwy 151 to reach Military Drive to reach northbound I-410.  
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work.  
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Thursday, March 19-23. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews do road work. This closure includes ramps as needed.
  • Sunday-Friday, March 19-24. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Rhapsody and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.  
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, March 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes and frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Main lane traffic will exit I-410 and join frontage road traffic to follow the posted detour to reach its destination.
  • Current until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination. 
Other roads – New Braunfels
  • Monday-Friday, March 20-24. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. FM 306, both directions, between River Chase Way and Hoffman Lane. Traffic will be limited to a single lane, controlled by flaggers, while crews do road work. 
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination. 
Other roads – East San Antonio 
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 20-21. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound Foster Road at I-10. The right lane will close while crews do road work. 
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, March 20-24. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Clover Creek and Hwy 151. The left lane will close while crews install raised concrete medians.
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, March 16

Mail Bag: driver responsibility, crash cushions, lane restrictions, I-410 work

So ... we've not done a Mail Bag post in a while, so we've got a lot of questions to go through. This is the first of two installments, which will all publish in the next week.

There seems to have been some lane changes on the I-410 S access road at Vista West Dr. It's gone down to one lane which is causing significant traffic backups in the morning. Is this temporary?
- Mike

So, the single lane is temporary while we've got construction going on right there (more in a moment). One thing that's not temporary is the elimination of the redundancy with the Lakeside Parkway exit (from which you couldn't really even reach Lakeside Parkway) and the Marbach exit.
The work is a major "operational improvement" (engineerese for "we're changing the way things work...") along I-410 between US 90 and Hwy 151. That work started with the new year this year (ahem, that's 2017) and will take about two and a half years to finish.
When we're all done you'll have a new lane in each direction on the I-410 main lanes between Hwy 151 and US 90. You'll have reconfigured exit and entrance ramps to allow a more fluid traffic flow along the corridor, which means the frontage roads are being adjusted. Oh, and we're making sure the curbs and sidewalks along these frontage roads are just right.
The cherry on top? New direct connectors at US 90, moving eastbound traffic on US 90 to northbound I-410 and southbound traffic from I-410 to westbound US 90. That means if you're commute goes between, say, Castroville and the Crossroads area ... it'll get a lot nicer when we're all done (at the end of 2019).

The I-10 westbound access road between Dominion Drive and Boerne Stage Road looks almost complete. Can you tell us when this access road will open both lanes?
-Robert
By now, Robert, you know we have things opened up to two lanes. We've posted on this a bit more earlier this month (you've likely seen it by now), but the bottom line is we'll have traffic in its final configuration by the first week of April. That's still on schedule, by the way!

I have two concerns. My first is about the intersection of the frontage roads of Loop 1604 and I-10. I've almost been hit multiple times as drivers get into the turn lane for the Top Golf entrance, disregard the pavement markings and continue straight to get to the I-10 frontage. The current markings aren't working, so I'm now avoiding the area. My second is about the park-and-ride at I-35 and Shin Oak. Apparently it has turned into a park-and-stay for 18-wheelers. This looks horrible and seems to have discouraged the few people who were actually using it as designed from doing so. Many years ago there used to be a sign that said "No Overnight Parking" there. What can be done about these two concerns?
- Steven

So ... it seems we have a law enforcement issue with the traffic ignoring the regulatory lane markers. We've been through a slew of different ideas with this area (the Top Golf driveway...), and right now we've done all we can feasibly do. The next steps require some serious concessions from the property owners we're unlikely to get - like permission to permanently close the driveway altogether.
As for the park-and-ride issue, this is a problem that occurs at every park-and-ride we have in the region. Heck, some folks have been known to park their cars and post them for sale at these lots, which we had to remedy by threatening folks to tow their cars. We're getting with our maintenance folks to try and re-post those signs if possible - it may help a little.

I've noticed that the collapsible guardrail end cap at the northbound Loop 1604 exit to Bandera is continually destroyed, fixed, and then smashed again. Is there any plan to smooth out or widen that area so that cars are not pointed directly at the barrier end cap when they exit? It seems like the exit angle is too tight or at least tighter than what people anticipate. It might just take a re-stripe of the area to flatten out the exit curve a bit. It's scary to take that exit if you're not anticipating being pointed directly at the barrier end cap. It feels like an emergency evasive maneuver to not hit it.
- Bob

This is a problem we're having at multiple locations - people keep forgetting to keep their vehicle between the lines and end up running into these crash cushions. We are repairing them constantly all over the region; it's not just at this location.
The major crashes we've seen at this location all involve failure to control speed (certainly that was the case with the first major crash on this ramp) and a failure to maintain proper attention. That means folks are distracted.
Certainly a crash cushion can sneak up on a driver when their eyes aren't on the road - and that's what's happening here, Bob. Folks simply aren't paying attention to driving. The motorized vehicle is the single deadliest weapon in America, and folks don't pay attention to what they're doing while wielding it. Scary!

Any update on what defines a "truck", in reference to the "No Trucks Left Lane" signs? I noticed that the regulation's language permits trucks to use the left lane for passing; if that is true, it almost makes that statute redundantly unnecessary since the left lane (for passenger cars and trucks) is for passing only anyways.
- Mark

Well, short of going to law school for this one, we've done a little digging and come up with better information than the last time we get on this topic. Here goes....
The definition of "truck" according to Texas Transportation Code is a motor vehicle that's designed and operated to transport property. If you want to read it on your own, look for Texas Code 541.001(21) here. Further definition of a "truck" for these restrictions typically does include a requirement of three or more axles - see the first paragraph of this TTC Minute Order from Hill County in 2012 for an example. You'll note the reference to "truck tractors", which is defined in section 22 of 541.001 referenced above.
While that minute order pertains to somewhere that's not San Antonio, the Texas Highwayman shows the history of the left-lane restrictions locally (which, by the way, began back in 2004).
The legal result? An emphasis on getting trucks out of the left lane with stiffer penalties. You're absolutely right about the left lane for the rest of us - it's really designed for passing only (note to you who like to hang out in the left lane ... you're doing it wrong). This whole "no trucks" thing simply adds extra teeth for those big wheelers.

I heard about a 3-car accident at westbound 1604 and Stone Oak, just before the exit to Blanco, on the news this morning and it reminded me of other major accident crashes at that location due to the merging traffic. I drive through there everyday and it always seems that something happens probably once every 2 weeks or so (probably more often than that), and I see y'all replacing the damaged guardrails probably once a month at that location. Forgive me, but it seems like a waste of money to keep repeatedly replacing the guardrails that often. I'm just curious if y'all had noticed that's an emerging trouble spot due to the recently constructed ramps, and was wondering if you had any thoughts on that, and if TxDOT (or the city) have any future plan of action?
- Mike

To be completely honest, Mike, the best plan of action is to ask drivers to follow those basic driving principles we all learn in drivers' education as new drivers - but somehow forget with experience.
The problem isn't highway design, it's rude and poor driving habits. As you'll note, Mike, we have other locations where these guardrails and crash cushions are being repaired on the regular. Heck, we have crews repairing these safety features at some location in our city pretty much every day.
That's unacceptable. For us, we're focused on what we call "vision zero". This is a collaborative effort with the city of San Antonio to help make our multimodal transportation routes as safe as possible. It's not something we can do on our own, though. Ultimately driver responsibility has to enter.
That's why you won't hear us referring to these collisions as "accidents" - because they're not an accident. Safety is no accident, Mike. It's very deliberate.
These crashes occur because a driver is being negligent. They are failing to control speed, driving while distracted or driving while intoxicated. They are being rude and following too closely, failing to yield or failing to merge properly. They don't signal. They ignore the world around them and just do them ... and that selfish driving behavior is killing folks.
We will continue to design safe roads and post the "instructions" of safe use everywhere. But we need drivers who won't ignore these instructions to keep the facilities safe.

Tuesday, March 14

Wurzbach Parkway and NW Military ... still developing

We are hearing from some who live near the planned project at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and NW Military that the plans presented at our recent forum are concrete regardless of input from the public.
With this in mind we want to review (briefly) what's happening, why we're doing it and where we are in the planning process.
For information on the project (if you're not familiar already), check it out here.


The plan in principle
The main goal of what we're trying to do is get the main lanes of Wurzbach Parkway through Northwest Military Drive and, potentially, Lockhill-Selma (for a later project, perhaps). Once Wurzbach Parkway pushes through Lockhill-Selma it's no longer a parkway and becomes Wurzbach Road, a city facility. Frankly, after that point the road just isn't designed to be a parkway but an arterial. With the heavy development approaching I-10, we simply don't have a lot of options to take the parkway all the way to I-10.


The problem we're solving
When we finished the last segment of Wurzbach Parkway back in 2015 drivers began using the route as an east-west expressway between I-10 and I-35. The problem is the number of traffic signals at the bookends of Wurzbach.
Why the signals? Because, frankly, Wurzbach was not initially intended to be an expressway. When designed in the 1980s it was intended to be a connector route for communities east and west of US Hwy 281. Those first segments were on the bookends (we worked from the outside and went toward the middle) and included traffic signals.
Drivers should know once Wurzbach crosses Lockhill-Selma (on the west) and Weidner (on the east) it's a city street. TxDOT only owns and maintains the portion between those two roads.
Over the years driver demands have changed and we've tried to accommodate those changes. One such accommodation was the increase of speed limits on the Parkway from 45 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour. This increase was done because of the overwhelming demand from drivers in the area.
With traffic moving rather quickly in the middle, we're seeing traffic really bog down once it hits Northwest Military. We think if we can get that higher-speed traffic through that intersection we should see enough of a reduction in traffic volumes approaching Lockhill-Selma and beyond things will be pretty manageable.
This brought the city council office for District 8 in San Antonio to have us sit down and think through some options to promote better traffic flow. We even dedicated about $1 million to studying traffic patterns to figure out where people are trying to go and how we can best help them get there. The work has yielded some interesting results and is still ongoing.


One solution
Again, the goal is to push main lane traffic through the intersection of Northwest Military and allow others to seek alternate routes at the intersection without bogging down the through traffic. One design that will help this along and was presented is a SPUI at the intersection of the Wurzbach exit ramps and Northwest Military. The intersection would favor left- and right-hand turns onto Northwest Military as traffic moves to communities in the area.
This is a new design to San Antonio used fairly effectively elsewhere across the nation - and beyond - as an innovation in traffic configurations. Without trying new things, after all, we'll end up with the same result and continue being bogged down at traditional intersections. Being forward-thinking about the current and future problems of the intersections is what our folks were trying to accomplish.
That said, some have criticized the idea as being overly burdensome for some specific neighborhoods. These have provided feedback, including comments, that will be considered in the final design of the project.


It isn't set in stone
With our road designs, this really popular idiom is, well, literal. Until a project has been constructed with concrete poured and asphalt laid, we typically have at least a little wiggle room. While we're still designing the project we've got a lot of wiggle room.
Though the official comment period is up March 15, we're still open to suggestions. The deadline is set so we have a cut-off point to include comments in our official records of the public hearing process and is designed to keep us compliant with state and federal rules on this sort of thing. The deadline isn't a hard deadline.
Once we get to March 16, the plans aren't set in stone.
In fact, we're still really early in the planning process (we'll have to post on what that is another time...). If you've got input on the project, sent it our way. Well, send it to the folks with Parsons-Brinkerhoff who are helping us on these plans. They can be reached at wurzbach@pbworld.com.
Or you can always just send it to us. Please email it to us using the online form here - leaving comments through the blog is not the most effective way to let us know what you think on this one.


Every project has trade-offs
Ultimately, these are your roads. We can come up with every forward-thinking design we can cart out, but if these ideas aren't meeting the needs you have now and you think will exist in the next 5-25 years ... well, we won't go that route.
As our director of transportation planning and development often says, we don't like to go where we're not wanted.
This means getting the trade-offs you are willing to make and want to see happen. So let us know - keep the ideas coming! We have changes on nearly every single project we develop stemming from public input. If you don't like the ideas we're coming up with, tell us what you don't like and what you would do different - and we'll try to incorporate those ideas to the best of our ability.
Note we do consider a democratic process here. If a complaint is from one single individual while the overwhelming feedback from others is to do the opposite, we're going to stick with the masses. That doesn't mean you need to organize on NextDoor to inundate us with feedback, however. Designating a representative for your HOA to speak on behalf of the group (and clarify they are indeed representing a number of voices) will typically do the trick.


For what it's worth
Take a look at the presentation from the public meeting, if you missed it. Some cool stuff on the SPUI in there. We've also posted the schematic and a video presentation. Check them out so you know the ideas we're coming up with!

Saturday, March 11

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Wednesday-Thursday, March 15-16. 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Westbound frontage road at Woodlake Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews install storm drain structures. Traffic will be limited to a single lane and will be controlled by a flagger.
  • Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. until Monday, March 19 at 5 a.m. Westbound frontage road at Woodlake Parkway. All lanes will close while crews install storm drain structures. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Sunday-Friday, March 12-17. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes at Walnut Avenue. Two right lanes will close while crews repair the roadway. This closure includes the on ramp from Spur Street and the exit ramp to Seguin Avenue. Traffic will use the next available ramp.
  • The full closure of northbound I-35 at Walnut Avenue is still postponed until further notice. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, March 12-17. 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, March 12-17. 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, March 12-17. 9 pm. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Rittiman Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work.
  • Monday-Friday, March 13-17. 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
I-35 – Southwest San Antonio
  • Current through Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Cassin Lane and I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Sunday-Monday, March 12-13. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Broadway and I-410. The left lanes will close while crews do roadwork.
  • Monday, March 13 until Friday, April 14. 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily. Northbound frontage road at New Braunfels Avenue. Alternating lanes will close as needed while crews work on curbs and sidewalks.
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 30, 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 13-14. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound frontage road between Military Drive and Culebra Road. All lanes will close while crews reconfigure the road. Traffic will enter the main lanes, exit Ingram Road and turn around to reach Culebra Road.
  • Monday-Tuesday, March 13-14. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Military Drive and Culebra Road. The right lane will close while crews reconfigure the road.
  • Monday-Wednesday, March 13-15. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound frontage road between Culebra and Ingram roads. The left lane will close while crews do road work.
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work. 
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Thursday, March 12-16. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination. 
  • Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Eastbound main lanes between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. This closure includes the entrance ramp from Ingram Road. Traffic will exit I-410, travel through the intersection and re-enter at the next available ramp. 
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination. 
Other roads – East San Antonio

  • Current until Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Houston Street, both directions, at I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do bridge work overhead.

Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, March 13-17. 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Clover Creek and Hwy 151. The left lane will close while crews install raised concrete medians. 
All closures are pending weather.

Monday, March 6

I-10 at Leon Springs is almost done....

Morning traffic in Leon Springs this morning was, well, slow.
We got your emails, calls, tweets and online submissions - all of them. Rather than respond individually (we don't have the personnel or the time to do that), we're hoping you'll circulate this post to let folks know what's going on. Rather than circulate email addresses and coordinate a cut-copy-paste form email complaint via your NextDoor or Facebook pages we ask you post this. We want you to know you've been heard, but we also want you to know we have answers. This post should address each of the major questions you're asking.


What happened
Late last week Texas Sterling Construction opened a new eastbound entrance ramp to I-10 from Boerne Stage Road. With the new on-ramp, located near the 10 West commercial development, crews are working to convert the old on-ramp into a new exit ramp for Dominion Drive.
This is the schematic we presented on this project before it began.
While our folks are building that new exit ramp we'll have the left lane of the frontage road closed near the HEB. We'll also keep the new west-to-east turnaround closed to minimize traffic conflicts with the reduced frontage road. This closure will last until the new ramp is ready to reopen, which should be around the end of the month.


Why?
Without the closure as it now is, you'd essentially have three lanes on the frontage road coming from Boerne Stage Road merging to a single lane in a very short distance. That simply doesn't make much good sense. What we have now allows for two lanes to merge to one by time traffic reaches the work area. That frontage road at the work area - that is, the area we're building the new exit ramp - has to be limited to a single lane to provide a safe work area while crews are tying in the new ramp to the existing frontage road.
To the credit of Texas Sterling Construction, most of the structural work to build this ramp has already been done. The process to get the ramp finished and opened should be relatively quick - right now we're planning to have that ramp opened up (and the frontage road lanes with it) by the end of March.


Read that again, please
Let us reiterate: we should have traffic in its final configuration by the end of March. Twenty-seventeen, just for those of you who question what year we'll be done. Though it's pretty wet this week we should be able to have traffic where it should be project-wide.
Unimpressed? We get it - this project has been going on for a while. It's been compounded for those who have survived the work at Ralph Fair Road and the work on Boerne Stage Road, in addition to another couple of smaller municipal projects in the area. If you live in Leon Springs or along Boerne Stage Road, you've likely been battling construction zones for the better part of the last five years.
We're telling you it's almost over - literally a few weeks away. At least, until we get to work on those new main lanes set to get built starting this year. But that's another post altogether.

Why no post in advance?
Honestly, there's little to excuse on this. Our communications staff knew this would be coming, but has been tied up doing some other stuff. That's no helpful, and it's not a valid reason to fail to have a post like this out before the traffic changes.
It may be a lot too little too late, but we apologize. We'll work to do better. As an agency, we've been tasked by the governor to do more with less - clearly that didn't happen here. We will figure it out and make it happen.
We do credit our project staff, however: they had notification of the change posted with digital message board prior to all this shaking up.

Can something be done to provide immediate relief?
This is a loaded question. The good news: this is very temporary. As we've reiterated above, the situation will only last through this month. With one week of that being Spring Break, we're hoping the traffic impact is kept as small as can be.
Can we open up an extra lane, though? No. That we can't do. The lane restrictions we've got in place today are necessary to complete the project safely, and that's what we're aiming to do.

What about signal timing?
We are working with folks from the city of San Antonio's Traffic and Capital Improvements section - they are the group that handles signal timing at this location. We're making sure the signals are adjusted to allow the best traffic flow possible during these next few weeks.

An officer could help by directing traffic...
We'd like to thank everyone who suggested this. We're not sure how much it will help, but you should see an officer on location in the morning and through the rest of this week. We'll evaluate Friday how much of a help this has actually been.
The biggest issue we're seeing is people who aren't making appropriate turns. Lane-to-lane changes are absolutely critical to making this area operate at the highest efficiency, and if that's not happening the whole thing falls apart. If that sounds a little like we're trying to share the responsibility for an efficient transportation system with you, the driver ... well, then the point has been made.
Once the lane-to-lane turn (which is taught in literally every drivers education class in the country) is made, drivers will need to employ the zipper merge to continue a good flow of traffic. These aren't advanced traffic maneuvers here, and our engineers assume drivers will be able to safely perform these basic maneuvers when they set up a traffic control plan.
Why discuss this now? Because the point of the officer on site in the morning will be to make sure traffic is doing this - the lane-to-lane movement, the zipper merge, all of it. They'll also make sure you're not blocking the intersection by trying to squeeze in before the red light.
If you're in the intersection and stopped when the light turns red, you're doing it wrong.


It's unbearable/dangerous/painful/horrible/killing us
Typical traffic during peak hours in other US locations....
We've heard other superlatives about this as well, but that heading just about sums it up. If it can be said, it's being said. This is, after all, the trafficopalypse of Leon Springs.
And no, we're not making light of it. We're simply trying to let you know we get it.
To the point of safety, we'll reiterate the situation is not dangerous. Were there frustrating delays this morning? Most definitely. Our field staff were on site observing what was happening and are making appropriate adjustments (see above). But a dangerous situation? No - that's not created by this. It's created by impatient drivers who make poor choices. Again, we're talking about shared responsibility here. We are owning the fact it's frustrating. We're also asking the drivers to own the fact they create the hazardous situation.
Did TxDOT crews force those cars to drive along the median to skip by traffic? Nope. Did TxDOT crews direct traffic onto parking lots, cutting through properties? Not one bit. We don't make those choices. To suggest we do strips the responsibility of safe driving from the drivers themselves, and is faulty logic.
Again, we're owning that the frustration of traffic delays is on us. We own that we didn't get proper notice out. We are working on a fix. We are trying to finish construction and we've whittled away the capacity of a roadway. For a three-hour period of time during the day it's pretty rough going, and we absolutely believe assertions of ludicrously long commute times. We're trying to solve that while maintaining the integrity of our safe work zone.
We simply need drivers to own their own behavior while we're at it.

Notes for those who are late
An odd request we got from more than a couple of folks is to provide a written note for kiddos late for school because of the traffic mess.
We're not sure we have the authority to do this, but we hope this blog post will help explain the situation for a day or two. We believe that, like other traffic situations like this, things will improve within a few days as folks get used to the traffic situation. The weather isn't helping much this week, either, and traffic generally flows a little easier when the road is dry.
However, if you need a late note for your teacher or boss and if this page works, feel free to use it. Don't have your boss or teacher call us, please - that's overkill. Just give them the link to this blog post and let it speak for itself.

Friday, March 3

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Seguin
  • Tuesday, March 7. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Hwy 46 and Walnut Branch Creek. The right lane will close while crews work on a support structure for an overhead highway sign.
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Wednesday-Thursday, March 8-9. 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Westbound frontage road at Woodlake Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews remove old drain structures.
  • Friday-Monday, March 10-13. Westbound frontage road at Woodlake Parkway. All lanes will close while crews work on drain structures. Traffic will follow the posted detour.

I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Note: the closure scheduled for northbound main lanes at Walnut Avenue has been postponed. A new date will be announced when it becomes available.
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, March 5-10. 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Sunday-Friday, March 5-10. 9 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
  • Monday-Friday, March 6-10. 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
I-35 – Southwest San Antonio
  • Current through Friday, March 31. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Cassin Lane and I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work.
I-35 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, March 10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Nogalitos and U.S. Hwy 90. Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road.
  • Monday-Friday, March 6-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Broadway and I-410. The right lanes will close while crews resurface the road.
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, March 7-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between New Braunfels Avenue and Walters Street. All lanes will close while crews set barrier. Traffic will exit New Braunfels Avenue, continue along the frontage road and re-enter the highway.
I-37 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Sunday-Monday, March 5-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Connector ramps, both directions, to northbound I-35. The ramps will close while crews lay asphalt. Traffic will follow the posted detour route.
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 30, 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Sunday-Wednesday, March 5-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. All lanes will close while crews reconfigure the road. Traffic will use Military Drive to connect to I-410 from Hwy 151.
  • Sunday-Wednesday, March 5-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. The right lane will close while crews reconfigure the road.
  • Current until Monday, March 6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between U.S. Hwy 90 and Marbach Road. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, March 5-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between East Rhapsody Drive and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Sunday-Friday, March 5-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Josephine and Airport. The right two lanes will close while crews do road work. This closure includes ramps as needed.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination.
  • Current until Friday, March 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes and frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Main lane traffic will exit I-410 and join frontage road traffic to follow the posted detour.
Other roads – Seguin
  • Current until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, March 6-10. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Clover Creek and Hwy 151. The left lane will close while crews install raised concrete medians.
All closures are pending weather.
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