Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 29

Mail Bag: Hwy 151 and I-410

So ... it's been a while since our last discussion about the new direct connectors being constructed at the intersection of Hwy 151 and I-410. We've even had a few questions pop in:

Whatever happened at 410 and 151? As a layman it looks to me there were some miscalculations. Nothing has happened with the flyover for months
- Ursula
151 and 410 flyover work has stopped ... why?
- John
While work on the middle of the direct connectors
has paused, the overall project progresses rapidly.
Ursula isn't too far off the truth. We actually did have some miscalculations in the design of the steel bridge support beams making the curved spans of these direct connectors. The mistake was caught when the beams started being fabricated and we had to have those re-made. We are hoping to have those ready for installation by February.
Two major takeaways for folks concerned about this issue revolve around accountability and project progress.
We are reviewing our processes to ensure this kind of situation doesn't crop up again and doing what we can to hold responsible parties accountable. We already have several layers of review for each of our projects - but those can be improved. That's what we're working on already.
Despite the design setback the project hasn't slowed. Williams Brothers Construction has worked out of sequence across the project to complete other tasks and continue the project. The initial plan was to get everything done on the eastbound Hwy 151 to northbound I-410 side finished before turning around to come back. In order to keep bridge crews busy WB went to work on that southbound I-410 side while churning away on the northbound side. The whole project sequence has been blended around and worked to keep things on track. The end result is keeping the project on a schedule to wrap up by fall 2018.

Whoa! Hey! Tossing a fast one on us... what's up with that northbound Culebra exit closure suddenly jumping from August 31 to October 31? Spooky Halloween treats early??
- Red
First of all, thank you for proving to us folks actually pay attention to our lane closure posts - in detail, no less! Seriously, simply for that reason this question made our communications team's whole week.
When we initially closed this ramp we discussed a timeframe of about six months - which means the ramp would have opened up around April or May. Since then Williams Brothers has refocused on some work items on the southbound side of I-410 as they allocate resources across the project. Honestly it boils down to a business decision WB is allowed to make within the limitations of the contract, and that's what happened here.
When we got closer to that April-May timeframe we moved the closure duration to August 31. Two weeks ago we asked our field staff how likely holding to that schedule would be and got the October 31 answer. They say this is very realistic considering the current progress of the project. We've also started pushing to get this ramp reopened (which will happen as soon as all the overhead bridge work is complete) to restore access to those businesses on Culebra who have been so patient with this project to date.
Honestly, a design issue on the southbound side has re-directed WB's resources to this northbound exit to Culebra.

Please advise the status of the westbound frontage for 151, particularly from the Ingram/Portranco exit to the light at Ingram. When do you expect the 3rd lane to reopen and the turnaround lanes to be completed.
- Lonnie
Williams Brothers is still working on the retaining walls in this area and we hope to have things wrapped up early fall. Once we are able to reopen that Hunt Lane exit (again, this fall) we'll have that auxiliary lane reopened. That should help things out a bit for those commuting through the area with regularity.