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Wednesday, April 25

That Fair Oaks Pkwy bridge is about to be done

We're going to go ahead and bury the lede on this post. If you want to get down to the brass tacks of what's going to impact you, skip down to the bottom where we'll talk about the major closure coming the weekend of April 27-30.
Before we get that far we want to address a few quick questions. As always, we offer the same candor we are afforded.

Where is everybody? It seems like it's been months since anyone worked on that bridge or have seen anyone at all. Today is the 30th of March, and at noon nobody is working.
Maybe it's a perception issue you have, and that perception is that the project is delayed, abandoned, etc. I haven't seen any updates on it here in ages and according to this site it's completion is supposed to be Summer of 2018. You currently do not look like you're going to finish by that time period if nobody seems to be working on it.
Again, this may be my own perception issue, but a little more updates on this site and maybe having someone at the actual worksite could ease some people's minds on the constant traffic around the around easing up sooner rather than later.
- Gerard
Gerard, we are afraid it is a bit of a perception issue. RELMCo is still working on a pace that will have this project completed by early summer this year and are working mostly at night on the bridge. They do this to stay out of the way of traffic on the highways and the frontage roads. If you're on the road, they don't want to be - it's risky.
You're going to see us put traffic onto the new bridge the last weekend of this month. Take a look below for more information.

According to the bridge construction diagram, the old bridge at Fair Oaks Parkway will be removed, and a new westbound to eastbound turnaround would be built in the future. However, from the looks of the grading going on, the existing bridge will be used as the turnaround. What say you?
- Al Koppen
After putting in nice, long, straight entrance ramp to eastbound I-10 at Fair Oaks Ranch, they now tore it up!!! What's with that? More taxpayer $$$ down the sewer. The guilty party should be strung up!
- Al Koppen
A couple of days ago, I wrote asking why the recently paved new straight entrance ramp to I-10 at Fair Oaks Parkway was ripped up. Yesterday, the new one exiting westbound I-10 to Fair Oaks Parkway was torn up. Who did the planning on this project--some elementary school kids?
- Al Koppen
First of all, Al, we went ahead and published your questions as submitted so we can all see the approach being taken here. No, we don't have grade-schoolers running the project. And no, we will not entertain public executions as a punishment for our employees who do their jobs.
To answer your question, let's first establish a basis of understanding for what we're doing. Heck, we've even got pictures to do it.
First of all, we have two projects happening out here. One is to rebuild the bridge over I-10 to connect Fair Oaks Parkway and Tarpon Drive. This second project converts the frontage roads to one-way and relocates several entrance and exit ramps to accommodate the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road.
You can see how all this lays out, with both projects together, here. For just this intersection, here you go:
The ramps you're seeing, Al, are associated with the bridge construction. Building a bridge over a major highway means several major highway closures, which you've no doubt driven through. As we explained when the project started, we built temporary ramps designed to occasionally carry the main lanes traffic off the main lanes, through the intersection and back on.
Because of those temporary ramps we were able to see delays stay, for the most part, under 15 minutes during major closures on this project. Other projects along the corridor, where construction of such ramps was not possible, have seen delays creep to well over an hour.
Alright. So here's the rub with the temporary ramps: they were built smack-dab in the middle of the new ramps being built for the second project. That's why you saw them torn up - they need to go so we can build the permanent ramps. They were, once again, temporary ramps built relatively inexpensively to handle traffic only a handful of times, which they've done marvelously.
With the temporary ramps gone the good folks with Sundt Construction can begin building the new ramps, which should come online later this summer.
We hope that clears things up a bit for you, Al.

What's coming
Beginning Friday night, April 27, RELMCo will shut down the intersection of Fair Oaks Parkway, Tarpon Drive and the I-10 frontage road.
The main lanes will not be impacted by this closure.
We have to shut down the intersection for the weekend to reconstruct the weekend in one fell swoop. When we're done we'll have traffic on the new bridge and most of the asphalt work will be finished.
During the closure traffic will follow posted detour signs to reach its destination. If the graphic of the closure doesn't help, try this list:
Westbound traffic to Fair Oaks Parkway will use Leslie Pfeiffer
Traffic coming from Fair Oaks Village Business Park will still be able to head west only; to go east they can either head all the way to Balcones Creek and turn around
Traffic headed east along the westbound frontage road can reach Fair Oaks Parkway by using Old Fredericksburg Road and Dietz-Elkhorn
Eastbound traffic to Tarpon Drive will exit as normal, hook around and go west to Windwood Drive and continue to Tarpon Drive
Westbound traffic to Tarpon Drive will remain on the main lanes, turn around at Balcones Creek and approach from the eastbound side
Eastbound traffic to Fair Oaks Parkway will remain on the main lanes, turn around at Ralph Fair Road and approach from the westbound side
When all is said and done this weekend all traffic on Fair Oaks Parkway and Tarpon Drive will be on the new bridge.
This actually brings us back to Al Koppen's first question above. So you don't have to check back up there to review, he wanted to know about the plan to use the bridge being used now as the turnaround.
Well, the bridge now being used is actually the new turnaround. We moved traffic onto it back in August, then tore down the old bridge entirely.
Well, until we get the frontage roads converted to one-way that turnaround bridge simply isn't going to mesh well with traffic. That means it will be closed - temporarily - once we get traffic onto the complete new bridge.
Please, friends, get this message out:
The turnaround bridge will be temporarily closed until the frontage roads are converted to one-way traffic. That should happen this summer.

That's it for now
That's all we have for now. As always, let us know if we can answer any other questions by submitting through our Mail Bag located at the left of the page.