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?