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Wednesday, June 21

Some updates on the two I-410 interchange projects

Josh Carrasco, we promised you a post on this project last week and failed to deliver. Please let this post make up for that and serve as a humble and complete apology - we are hoping our information here is more up-to-date and gets you the details you were hoping for.
We have two projects running concurrently at major I-410 interchanges. The first began in 2015 at the intersection of I-410 and Hwy 151. The other began last year and is at I-410 and US 90. Both projects are really similar; we're adding a westbound connector to northbound I-410 and another connector from southbound I-410 to the eastbound cross highway.
On both projects we're also making some changes to the way the frontage roads along I-410 operate (and on the cross highways), and that's the work leading to some of our questions and delays. Making the fact we have two projects running right over one another is made easier by the fact we have the same contractor working both projects - Williams Brothers Construction - which keeps coordination efforts between the two jobs at optimal levels.
At any rate, without further ado here's a brief report of what we've had going.

Westbound Hwy 151 to I-410
Last week drivers who drive eastbound Hwy 151 to I-410 wrestled with a temporary transition as the auxiliary lane that's normally between the on-ramp from Hunt Lane and the exit ramp to I-410 was converted to a normal acceleration lane. After the initial transition the morning of June 9 we had several signs placed along the road to alert drivers of the change. The transition allowed Williams Brothers to build some drain structures across the existing exit ramp.
That work finished a little faster than initially expected (it took one week rather than two) and traffic is now back to normal with the auxiliary lane back open.

New ramps on I-410 between Hwy 151 and Culebra
We have a number of ramps we're working on along the I-410 corridor on both sides of the road. The first to become part of your daily life is the new southbound exit ramp to Military Drive - which also brings a nifty bypass to get traffic around Military Drive to reach the businesses at Westover Marketplace. That will also mean the closure of the current Hwy 151 exit. Here's a look at what that'll be like (click to enlarge):
Once the exit and its bypass are open and fully in use (could be as early as August, if all goes right) we'll probably convert the old exit to Hwy 151 to an entrance ramp for all that traffic from Culebra Road. The southbound on-ramp from Culebra will bridge over the exit to Military and, because of some issues with the fabrication of steel beams for that bridge, will not be ready until the end of this year.
On the northbound side there's that pesky exit ramp to Culebra Road that's been closed since November. This one has also been impacted by some beam issues and the resultant refocus on work in other areas, and we are hoping today to have things reopened before Halloween. Before we can do that we'll need to have the entrance from Military Drive opened, which bridges over what will be the exit to Culebra. The good news is once that entrance is done all we need to do is lay asphalt for the Culebra exit, which shouldn't take too long at all. Our field personnel is trying to press this work item so we get it done sooner than later.

Hwy 151 progress
We already talked about that interruption on the eastbound side of Hwy 151. On the westbound side we've had the exit to Hunt Lane closed since February. We are still on pace to have it reopened by the end of August as promised.

The direct connectors
The key components of the project are the direct connectors taking eastbound Hwy 151 traffic to northbound I-410 and southbound I-410 traffic to westbound Hwy 151. We had some issues with the steel beams required for the longer bridge spans - those are all ironed out now (see what we did right there?). Right now we are hoping to have the remaining bridge support beams set early 2018 and put traffic on the connectors mid-2018.

South of Hwy 151
This work is still in the earliest stages, though you'll likely notice we've already started building bridge support columns near the intersection of US Hwy 90 and I-410. We have a lot to do between now and getting  open to traffic those direct connectors from eastbound US 90 to northbound I-410 and from southbound I-410 to westbound US 90. That's expected mid-2020, by the way.
The biggest pinch point right now is the southbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Marbach Road. We have a ramp closed in that area (the southbound exit to Lakeside Pkwy) and traffic is reduced to a single lane for a few hundred feet. Williams Brothers is working hard to widen the road and construct good curbs and sidewalks along the frontage road project-wide, but we ran into a utility conflict right there approaching Marbach. If things work out the way everyone on the project is hoping. we should be wrapped up with the frontage road work by the end of 2017.
Between then and now we'll also have a noise deflection wall built along the northbound frontage road between Marbach and Hwy 151. Folks in the area should expect to see that work happening rapidly through the summer.
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