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Tuesday, March 6

New Braunfels update: Lp 337 busily - and noisily - moving along

We turned Hunter Industries loose to work on the Loop 337 widening project back in November. This $43.3 million project expands the roadway from its existing two lanes to a four-lane divided roadway between I-35 and Hillcrest Drive while adding a sidewalk on one side of the road.

Hunter Industries is currently focusing their efforts on widening existing bridges over Landa Street, Hwy 46 and Rock Street/Gruene Road. This means drilling shafts for bridge support foundations while working on the actual roadway widening between New Braunfels High School to River Road. Different crews have different specialties, and Hunter has ensured they have several crews on site to move the project quickly. They are also working on sound walls at strategic locations within the project limits. Which brings us to an issue that's cropped up....

We’ve recently received noise complaints from some who live near Loop 337. Our team is looking into these issues to see if any additional sound walls are needed. Here's the challenge: sound barrier walls, designed to keep noise from highways on the highway, require a lot of considerations before we can install them. And, unfortunately, those who live several blocks off the highway but hear the noise anyway aren't a required consideration for these countermeasures.

Right now we are investigating the issue; once we have anything definitive we'll make sure to let folks know what the plan moving forward will be. In the meantime we want all to know we've heard the concern, we understand it's not just construction noise folks are experiencing and we're doing what we can to address the issue.

We are also reviewing some driveway, drainage, and utility issues in the project area based on feedback from residents during construction.

In addition to construction work our crews have also addressed some potential safety and environmental issues. Hunter has installed construction fencing at the three railroad crossing locations and installed a rock berm—basically, a physical barrier used to control erosion and sedimentation—to protect the environment in that area. We're also trying to address driver concerns regarding mud on the roadway during wet conditions by installing specific construction exits made of rock for the trucks to use. These exits tend to knock most of the mud off tires as trucks move back onto the road. While we’re all thankful for all the rain we know well the difficulty it can cause for drivers and our construction team. We appreciate your patience while we work to tackle these issues.

All told we are about four months into a four-year project and (so far) running on schedule. We expect to have much more to share with you as work continues and progress is made. Our goal is to have posts like this about once a month, or as needed otherwise, so check back often for the latest.