Wednesday, January 10

Mail bag: A few questions from 2017 we've not yet answered

Thanks for answering my previous question regarding the US 281 NBFR lane closure. I was referring to pages 211 and 216 of the TCP located here.
I'm concerned that we (TxDOT and taxpayers) may not be getting what we've paid for (avoiding the lane closure). It's possible that plans have changed or the contractor has negotiated something with the PE to reduce the construction time.
You'll note the general notes of the plans allow closures at the discretion of the project engineer. This is designed to afford our project staff the room to appropriately negotiate with the contractor and, yes, speed up the work a bit.

Why has the closure of the WBFR at Old Fredericksburg been pushed back a month? Surely a couple days of rain and brief snowfall can't result in a whole month delay.
- Dave
You're right - the rain and snowfall aren't the only contributors here (but are indeed relevant). The short end of it is we had a few issues with the retaining walls at the location and production rates haven't been as projected. As of today we're hoping to have it reopened by the end of February.

I realize there are all kinds of road construction projects going on that are supposed to improve the 410 to 151 to Military area, but I guess I don't understand the plans.
Right now, the exit from 410 to 151 has been reconfigured and it's very congested to move over into the right most lane to exit 410 there. Then it's very difficult and congested most days when trying to get over to the right on the access road and then very difficult to get over to the left to get in line to enter 151. Will any of the plans ease this part of the congestion? It feels very unsafe IMO the way it is now.
- Kimbie

Kimbie, what you're driving through right now is a temporary condition as the project continues to move forward.
Here's what the road will look like (from above) when we're all done:

When will I-37 north exit 140A open? Why was it closed? Nothing has been happening since closure.
- Tim
Right now the goal is the end of March. We had an erosion issue (engineers call it a "slope failure") to shore up and discovered some challenges we hadn't anticipated. After re-thinking our plan of attack for the issue and with the holidays now behind us, crews should be moving again.

Question regarding the 410/35 NE project. On 410/35 North when you are approaching the bridge over Walzem, the left lane currently disappears.
This is a major bottleneck every afternoon. Is this permanent and if not, when will it be open? Everyday people "run" that fast lane all the way to the end and cut off the people who actually paid attention to the signage.
- Jeff

With the work we did last weekend, Jeff, this issue should be addressed. Traffic should be open now to four lanes each way and is basically in its final configuration.

Is there any word on when they will do the pour for the new bridge over I-10 between Fair Oaks Ranch Parkway and Tarpon Dr.?
- Gregory
We did this last weekend! Expect overnight closures during upcoming weeks to pour the bridge rails. Those closures will be posted in our weekly closures post.

As per your Sept 15 update on the I10 project between Ralph Fair & fair Oaks Ranch, it is stated that this project is to be completed by late Spring 2018. It is now January and there appears to be no work yet on most of the on/off ramps. The closure on the Frontage Road by Old Fred has gone past the original schedule. What is the current completion date for this whole project between Ralph fair and Fair Oaks ranch?
- Robert
At the moment we're looking at mid-summer. Production rates have slowed over the last six months from the torrid pace Sundt had at the start of the project, but that earlier pace was strong enough to give them a cushion.
The earlier assessment of late spring was based on that faster pace. Sundt is working on a number of tasks on the job at the moment - including working on those new ramps you referenced - and Sundt is working on making up some of their lost time.
Right now, given the loss of production over the winter months, we're looking at mid-summer for substantial completion.