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Wednesday, May 2

Mail Bag: Apologetic replies to some tough questions on I-10 at Scenic Loop, Camp Bullis and on Loop 1604 at US 90

Last the Hillcrest residences saw on this blog was that there was going to be a temp turn around (to get Northbound on Lp 1604) between Marbach and
US 90 by mid April and the permanent turn around by the end of April. Are we still on track for those completion dates?
- J Sutfin

Clearly that didn't happen by the end of April, as we're now in May. Webber Construction is now saying they'll have it ready by the end of May.
Webber encountered a conflict with a signal pole and a drain structure when building and had to make some adjustments to the plans. They've also had some struggles with the signal control boxes that are now being fixed.
The new northbound lanes on Loop 1604 have been paved but need the signals to be operational before we can move traffic over. We're waiting to switch traffic to build the new turnaround.
It's all contingent, bottom line, on the signals. We've had our electricians at work on the issue through the last few weeks, and we're confident we'll get it done before the end of may.
Were it not for the conflict we didn't catch in the plans, we'd have had this set and ready by now - we do regret the delay and understand the direct impact it has on the lives of those in the Hillcrest subdivision.

Did you really think closing ALL of I-10 was a good idea? We will be avoiding Texas on our way back from Florida, and I hope somebody gets fired! Nobody else does this stupid stuff and then posts "Sorry".
- Roy

You guys close I-10 by Camp Bullis on a weekend? I had to pass by there this morning around 8:45 and no one is working. I passed by there again around 10:30 and 12:00 and still no one is working on the highway. How can you close I-10 on an weekend and no one is working on the construction?
The only people that were there were some cops helping direct traffic?
- Marc
I-10 Closure at Camp Bullis -- You have the lights set at Camp Bullis on flashing Red effectively running and entire interstate trough a stop sign. Can we please get a flashing yellow to keep the flow moving and not have all complete stops. The cross road under the bridge is closed so flashing yellow is more appropriate.
- Tim
First of all, we're always - always - going to have a major closure like this over a weekend rather than do it during the middle of the week. Full closures of the highway are a very normal thing across the United States as we safely construct the roads. We say "sorry" because we know it's inconvenient and we want to recognize the frustrations of others. Sorry, Roy, but nobody got fired over having that closure that was planned and publicized.
We were supposed to have officers directing traffic at the intersection to keep traffic flowing. We understand there was a small gap in coverage on that during a shift change; we've since addressed that issue (one that's unacceptable to us as well).
The bottom line: the closure was necessary (and it's something you'll see happen again as the summer nears). It's also something we know how to do well, and we know the hang-ups weren't reflective of the job we know how to do. We'll do better the next time.

WTH is the delay on the work under I-10 at Scenic Loop? They just completely stopped the work months ago, and now they just push dirt around occasionally. I was by there this past week and I saw a worker literally sleeping in his work truck.
- Joe (via Facebook)
Joe, to quickly recap the way this project has gone we started with working on the storm drain system, installed drain inlets, tore out the old roadway to rebuild it then build curb and sidewalks. Some of that work is more visible and obvious than other work is.
Right now the weather is the determining factor on when we'll have the final surface of asphalt in place - if we have dry enough weather we'll be able to lay asphalt this week. That means we'll have it all striped by mid-May and be out of the way and gone.
That, of course, depends heavily on weather. We can't very well lay asphalt or paint in wet weather.
As for the guy in the truck, there's a good chance he was doing paperwork and looked like he was out cold. Our inspectors office out of their white TxDOT trucks and can often be seen with their head down while working on their project paperwork.
That said, if you ever do see any of our guys, in their white TxDOT trucks, sleeping while in their trucks please let us know directly. Unless it's during the normal lunch hour timeframe - those guys work long and hard hours and may be taking a much-needed power break, but we need to make sure they're doing the jobs they're paid to do.