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Monday, December 11

Mail Bag: Congested highways, stewardship and some future planning

Why is traffic on 1604 east bound between 281 and Bulverde Road moving so slowly in the afternoons? My trip home has increased by 40 minutes.
- Nan
Why has traffic increased so much recently? I-35 has turned into a parking lot!
- Ericka

Honestly, that's probably because of the area being among the fastest-growing in the United States. For some reason, people love coming here! We think it has something to do with the tacos....
It's why we have major construction along seemingly every corridor - to address the congestion and safety issues that come from adding dozens of cars to our roads each week.

Recent advance notices refer to nightly closures, but nothing about day time closures of the right lane of US 281 NBFR north of Loop 1604. The TCP on the TxDOT website shows permanent pavement added to the left side of the NBFR which avoids the lane closure. Have the plans changed?
- Tom

First of all, we don't have our traffic control plan (TCP) posted online.
When we add permanent pavement to one side of the road, we often need to shift traffic away from that area to create adequate safe work space. That sometimes means adding some temporary pavement to hold traffic for a few weeks or months as needed - which means closures on both sides of the road.
Frankly, any time we do any construction project, every lane will be subject to occasional small closures at some point of the work.

Is Evans Road from Green Mountain to Bulverde Road closed again today (12.5.17)?
- Gladys

First of all, we're sorry we didn't answer this question a bit sooner. The questions to the Mail Bag aren't checked daily, and the Mail Bag isn't intended for immediate reply. For faster responses try us on Twitter.
As for the Evans Road work, that's not TxDOT work anyway. That work was done by SAWS, and questions about the work should have been directed to them.

I noticed the work on I-10 at Old Fredricksuburg and at Scenic Loop is adding extended sections of concrete roadway. Will the widening of I-10 to The Rim also use concrete? Is there a reason the approaches to the bridges were concrete in these projects?
Also, at Old Fred, the retaining walls are prepared for widening the bridge. When is that planned?
- Blake

We are trying to move toward concrete paving wherever we can afford to do so due to the lower cost of long-term maintenance. Going with concrete is super expensive on the front end, though, and isn't something we're able to do with just any project. We typically extend the concrete paving at elevated bridges, such as the overpasses you're mentioning, to accomplish some of our goal.
The HOV lanes we're building between La Cantera and Fair Oaks are not being build on concrete except on the bridges we'll be expanding.
We're glad you noticed the forward-thinking design on the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road - we do not have a date for that expansion set, but we wanted to be sure the new bridge would improve constructability for the projects that may come in the future.

I appreciate what you do getting the word out to the SA community on their TxDOT projects. I live in northeast San Antonio and the I-35 project there impacts me greatly. I was wondering if the southbound I-35 exit to Walzem will be relocated. I know you have relocated the I-410 Walzem exit, even though I see people not using it and using the old exit instead.
My worry is if the exit is not closed, we will continue to see traffic occasionally back up onto the main lanes when there is a train. I know that there is one lane of SB I-35 access road that is continuous through the I-35/I-410 interchange. Is this section being only one lane prohibiting the relocation of this exit?
- Nathan

For now we are not relocating that southbound I-35 exit to Walzem. Your suggestion is really interesting, though - it's something we're passing along to our highway planners as an option we ought to consider for improved operational efficiency.

Friday, December 8

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Current until Friday, January 26. Westbound frontage road at Old Fredericksburg Road. All lanes will close while crews replace drain structures. Traffic will follow the signed detour route, including a temporary route under the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg, to reach its destination.
  • Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. until Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at Fair Oaks Parkway. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete overhead. Traffic will exit Fair Oaks Parkway, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway.
I-10 – Leon Springs
  • Sunday-Friday, December 10-15. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
I-35 – Schertz
  • Current until October 2018. Frontage roads, both directions, at FM 1103. The right lane will close while crews replace the FM 1103 overpass bridge.
  • Tuesday, December 12. 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Southbound exit to FM 1103. The ramp will close while crews restripe the road. Traffic will use the next available ramp and turn around.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, December 11. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Thousand Oaks. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Saturday, December 9 at 5 a.m. until Sunday, December 10 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach drives. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
  • Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. until Monday, December 18 at 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
I-37 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current and continuous until March 2018 at 9 a.m. Northbound exit ramp to Florida and Carolina avenues (exit 140A). The ramp will close while crews rebuild the slope near the exit. Traffic will exit Cesar Chavez (exit 140B) and turn around to reach its destination.
  • Current until Thursday, December 14. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Presa Street and Military Drive. The left lane will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
I-410 – West San Antonio
  • Friday, December 8 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 11 at 5 a.m. Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions, at U.S. Hwy 90. All lanes will close while crews set steel bridge support beams overhead. This is a total closure of the highway. Southbound traffic will be detoured to westbound US 90 and turn around at Hunt Lane to return to I-410. Northbound traffic will be detoured to eastbound US 90 and turn around at West Military to return to I-410. The southbound lanes should reopen by midday Saturday.
  • Current until December 2018. Turnarounds, both directions, at Marbach Road. The turnarounds will remain closed while crews construct the new Marbach overpass bridge. Traffic will use the signalized intersection.
  • Current until Friday, December 15. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions, at US Hwy 90. All lanes will close while crews set steel bridge support beams overhead. This is a total closure of the highway. Southbound traffic will be detoured to westbound US 90 and turn around at Hunt Lane to return to I-410. Northbound traffic will be detoured to eastbound US 90 and turn around at West Military to return to I-410. While this closure coincides with the nightly closure on I-410, only one highway will close at a time.
U.S. Hwy 87 – Southeast Bexar County
  • Current until Thursday, December 14. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Lakefront Street and the Wilson County Line. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, December 15. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews work on steel bridge beams overhead. This is a total closure of the highway. Eastbound traffic will be detoured to southbound I-410 and turn around at Valley Hi to return to US 90. Westbound traffic will be detoured to northbound I-410 and turn around at Hwy 151 to return to US 90. While this closure coincides with the nightly closure on I-410, only one highway will close at a time.
  • Current until Friday, December 15. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews set and weld steel bridge support beams overhead. Eastbound traffic will exit Loop 1604, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway at the next available ramp. Westbound traffic will exit Loop 1604 and turn north, turn around at Marbach to return to US Hwy 90.
U.S. Hwy 181 – Southeast Bexar County
  • Current until Thursday, December 14. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between I-37 and the Wilson County Line. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North San Antonio
  • No closures scheduled next week.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, January 26, 2018. North-to-south turnaround at Bandera Road. The turnaround will remain closed while crews do road work. Traffic will use the signalized intersection to turn around.
Other roads – Helotes
  • Current until Sunday, December 31. Bandera Road, both directions, at FM 1560. All left- and right-turn lanes will close while crews do road work. Those turning onto FM 1560 or onto Circle A Trail will do so from the through lanes of traffic. Field staff will adjust signal timing as required.
  • Monday-Wednesday, December 11-13. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. FM 1560, both directions, between Saltillo Flat and Alta Loma. All lanes will close while crews lay asphalt. Traffic will use Braun Road, Loop 1604 and Bandera Road to reach its destination.
  • Monday, December 11 until Friday, December 29. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. FM 1560, both directions, between Saltillo Flat and Alta Loma. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt. One-way traffic will be controlled by a flagger.
  • Wednesday, December 13 until Sunday, December 31. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Bandera Road, both directions, between Diamond K Trail and FM 1560. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
Other roads – Southwest San Antonio
  • Current until Thursday, December 14. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Pearsall Road, both directions, between I-410 and Loop 13. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
Other roads – West San Antonio
  • Monday, December 11 at 9 a.m. until Friday, December 15 at 5 p.m. Westcreek Oaks Drive, both directions, at Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews construct the new southbound frontage road. Traffic will use Military Drive and Potranco Road to reach its destination.
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, December 6

Seal coats - what they are and why we do them

We've received a slew of comments and complaints about seal coat projects across the region over the last several weeks. It's an annual occurrence for us, answering these questions. Each of them typically echo much of what John, who submitted this question late November, has said:

Recently TXDOT hired some contractors to lay down a layer of rocks on FM 758. The road is now worse than ever. I drive the road daily. Prior to this I never had rocks hitting my car. I have had 5 rocks hit my car in the last week alone from cars passing while waiting to turn onto the road or by cars passing in opposite lane. I now have 2 new chips in my windshield. I have never seen this surface on a highway before. Is it temporary and why not replace with a smooth surface like it was?
- John


The elements of the complaint are fairly easily broken down:
  • The road is in horrible shape and covered in loose gravel
  • Rocks are spraying cars damaging windshields and paint jobs
  • This is poor workmanship the likes of which has never been seen
The truth is most people don't understand what exactly has been done. That's fully on us, by the way - it's up to us to let folks know what's going on, and it's clear we missed that boat (though others have taken the issue up...). Late is better than never, though, correct?

What is a sealcoat?
Sealcoats are intended to moisturize the road to prevent crumbling and extend the life of the pavement.
Asphalt is an amorphous solid dependent on a level of wetness for its structural integrity. Just like our skin, it chaps and cracks in the hot Texas sun. While many add lotion to preserve soft and silky smooth skin, highway engineers add a cocktail of oil and tar to the road to preserve its shape and smoothness. Over time the cocktail seeps into the road, but when we first apply the mix it sets on the surface of the road.
Anyone who has seen a James Bond movie or played Spy Hunter knows how treacherous a road with oil concentrated on the surface can be. To keep a road we've done a seal coat on safe and to improve traction we lay a thin, sparse layer of gravel atop the seal coat mix.

Why not just resurface?
This is a common solution posed by most who drive these newly sealed roads. Heck, we'd love to be able to resurface or reconstruct each road every time we see wear and tear, but the cost would be astronomic. We reserve resurfacing for about every 7-10 years, and seal coat about every 3-5 years.
The cost difference is huge and cannot be overstated. A seal coat will cost literally pennies on the dollar we might spend resurfacing the road. While we are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and reliable transportation system, we are tasked and trusted to be extremely prudent with the limited taxpayer dollars we are given.
The bottom line: sure, resurfacing the road would look a lot nicer. This practice about doubles the lifespan of a road, though, and cuts costs by nearly 20 percent over a 40-year timeframe.

What about the slinging gravel?
The result is a road that looks really dark, like a new road, but has a bit of what looks like loose gravel on its surface. That gravel is mashed into the road surface, typically, using rubber-tired pneumatic rollers.
Although the result is a louder ride with road noise, the biggest problem for drivers comes from the gravel kicking up with the large knobby tires from the trucks on the road. This is why we typically keep "Loose Gravel" warning signs up while we're doing the work, letting drivers know to take care and increase following distances.
After a few short weeks that gravel gets pressed and ground into the road surface and becomes a non-issue.

Friday, December 1

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Current until Friday, December 29. Westbound frontage road at Old Fredericksburg Road. All lanes will close while crews replace drain structures. Traffic will follow the signed detour route, including a temporary route under the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg, to reach its destination.
  • Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. until Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at Fair Oaks Parkway. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete overhead. Traffic will exit Fair Oaks Parkway, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway.
I-10 – Boerne
  • Monday, December 4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Westbound main lanes at Hwy 46 (Exit 540). The right lane will close while crews resurface the road to tie the new entrance ramp to the main lanes.
  • Tuesday, December 5 at 9 p.m. until Wednesday, December 6 at 5 a.m. Westbound main lanes at Scenic Loop Road. The exit ramp to and entrance ramp from Scenic Loop Road will close while crews remove concrete barrier. Traffic will use Exit 542 to reach its destination.
I-10 – Leon Springs
  • Sunday-Friday, December 3-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, December 5-7. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. East-to-west turnaround at Dominion Drive. The turnaround will close while crews work on the traffic signals. Traffic will use the full intersection to reach their destination.
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between Cincinnati and Culebra. The right lane will close while crews do sidewalk work.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Sunday, December 3 at 10 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 6 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Solms and Rueckle roads. All lanes will close while crews repair the roadway following a crash. Traffic will exit Solms Road and continue along the frontage road until the next available entrance ramp.
I-35 – Schertz
  • Current until October 2018. Frontage roads, both directions, at FM 1103. The right lane will close while crews replace the FM 1103 overpass bridge.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, December 11. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Thousand Oaks. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Saturday, December 2 at 5 a.m. until Sunday, December 3 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach drives. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
  • Monday, December 4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Southbound frontage road ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close as needed while crews do concrete work nearby.
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Walzem and Rittiman roads. The right lane will close while crews repair the road.
  • Saturday, December 9 at 5 a.m. until Sunday, December 10 at 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach drives. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
  • Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. until Monday, December 18 at 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
I-37 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current and continuous until March 2018 at 9 a.m. Northbound exit ramp to Florida and Carolina avenues (exit 140A). The ramp will close while crews rebuild the slope near the exit. Traffic will exit Cesar Chavez (exit 140B) and turn around to reach its destination.
  • Thursday, December 7 until Thursday, December 14. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Presa Street and Military Drive. The left lane will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
I-410 – West San Antonio
  • Current until December 2018. Turnarounds, both directions, at Marbach Road. The turnarounds will remain closed while crews construct the new Marbach overpass bridge. Traffic will use the signalized intersection.
  • Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions, at US Hwy 90. All lanes will close while crews set steel bridge support beams overhead. This is a total closure of the highway. All traffic will exit US Hwy 90. Southbound traffic will head west to Hunt Lane, turn around and return to I-410. Northbound traffic will head east to West Military, turn around and return to I-410.
U.S. Hwy 87 – Southeast Bexar County
  • Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between I-37 and the Wilson County Line. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the roadway.
  • Thursday, December 7 until Thursday, December 14. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between Lakefront Street and the Wilson County Line. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, December 8. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-410 and Leon Creek. Alternating lanes will close as needed while trucks deliver light poles.
  • Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. Eastbound ramp to southbound I-410, westbound ramp to northbound I-410. The ramps will close while crews set overhead bridge support beams. Eastbound traffic will turn around at West Military to reach its destination. Westbound traffic will turn around at Hunt Lane to reach its destination.
  • Thursday, December 6 until Friday, December 15. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews set and weld steel bridge support beams overhead. Eastbound traffic will exit Loop 1604, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway at the next available ramp. Westbound traffic will exit Loop 1604 and turn north, turn around at Marbach to return to US Hwy 90.
U.S. Hwy 181 – Southeast Bexar County
  • Thursday, December 7 until Thursday, December 14. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes between I-37 and the Wilson County Line. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North San Antonio
  • No closures scheduled next week.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, December 8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road between Ingram and Potranco roads. The left lane will close while crews work on overhead highway sign support structures. This closure will not be done on Friday or Saturday nights.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Wednesday, December 6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Marbach and US Hwy 90. The right turn lane will close while crews set steel bridge support beams. This closure includes the ramp to westbound US Hwy 90. Traffic will follow the posted detour to reach its destination.
  • Current until Friday, January 26, 2018. North-to-south turnaround at Bandera Road. The turnaround will remain closed while crews do road work. Traffic will use the signalized intersection to turn around.
  • Friday, December 1 at 9 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes at US Hwy 90. The right-turn lane to westbound US 90 will close while crews place steel bridge support beams overhead.
Other roads – Helotes
  • Current until Sunday, December 31. Bandera Road, both directions, at FM 1560. All left- and right-turn lanes will close while crews do road work. Those turning onto FM 1560 or onto Circle A Trail will do so from the through lanes of traffic. Field staff will adjust signal timing as required.
Other roads – Boerne
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, December 3-4. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Hwy 46, both directions, between Blanco Road and Coveney Trail. Alternating lanes will close while crews restripe the road.
Other roads – Southwest San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3. 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Pearsall Road, both directions, between I-410 and Loop 13. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal cracks in the road.
Other roads – West San Antonio
  • Friday, December 1 at 9 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 6 a.m. Marbach Road, both directions, west of Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews reconstruct the intersection. Traffic will use Emory Peak to reach its destination.
  • Monday, December 4 at 9 a.m. until Friday, December 8 at 5 p.m. Westcreek Oaks Drive, both directions, at Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews construct the new southbound frontage road. Traffic will use Military Drive and Potranco Road to reach its destination.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Southbound Fredericksburg Road between Magnolia and Woodlawn. The right lane will close while crews do sidewalk work.
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Cincinnati Avenue, both directions, between I-10 and Sabinas. The right lane will close while crews do sidewalk work.
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, November 30

The big'uns to look for in December

Our contractors are working at blistering paces on projects district-wide to ensure we have no closures impeding holiday travel after school districts let out for the Christmas break. That happens, for nearly all major school districts in our area, at some point the week of December 18-22.
In order to ensure the work we do between about December 18 and January 2 is done without closures you'll see a flurry of overnight closures and at least three semi-major closures in the San Antonio area.
Check our weekly lane closures report for overnight closures. Here is a brief list of our biggest closures to be aware of:
  • Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. I-410 main lanes and frontage road, both directions, at US 90. All lanes will close while crews set steel bridge support beams overhead. Southbound traffic will exit westbound US 90, turn around at Hunt Lane and return to southbound I-410. Northbound traffic will exit eastbound US 90, turn around at Military Drive and return to northbound I-410.
  • Friday, December 15 at 8 p.m. until Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. I-10 main lanes, both directions, at Fair Oaks Parkway. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete to form a bridge deck overhead. Traffic in both directions will exit Fair Oaks Parkway, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway.
  • Friday, December 15 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 18 at 5 a.m. I-35 main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Randolph Boulevard. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews resurface the road. When the closure is picked up the capacity of I-35 will be increased by one lane in each direction (main lanes traffic will be in its final configuration).
Please plan accordingly.

Monday, November 27

This week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Current until Friday, December 29. Westbound frontage road at Old Fredericksburg Road. All lanes will close while crews replace drain structures. Traffic will follow the signed detour route, including a temporary route under the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg, to reach its destination.
I-10 – Leon Springs
  • Wednesday, November 27 until Friday, December 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
I-35 – Schertz
  • Current until October 2018. Frontage roads, both directions, at FM 1103. The right lane will close while crews replace the FM 1103 overpass bridge.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, December 11. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between George Beach and Thousand Oaks. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3. 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach drives. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
  • Saturday-Sunday, December 9-10. 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Thousand Oaks and George Beach drives. Alternating lanes will close, two at a time, while crews lay asphalt.
I-37 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current and continuous until Friday, December 1 at 5 p.m. Northbound exit ramp to Florida and Carolina avenues (exit 140A). The ramp will close while crews rebuild the slope near the exit. Traffic will exit Cesar Chavez (exit 140B) and turn around to reach its destination.
I-410 – North San Antonio
  • Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between Nacogdoches and Ira Lee roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews resurface the road. This closure includes ramps as needed.
I-410 – West San Antonio
  • Current until December 2018. Turnarounds, both directions, at Marbach Road. The turnarounds will remain closed while crews construct the new Marbach overpass bridge. Traffic will use the signalized intersection.
  • Monday, November 27 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, November 28 at 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Ingram Road and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews install overhead highway signs. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, continue along the frontage road and use the next available entrance ramp.
  • Monday-Thursday, November 27-30. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Culebra Road and Military Drive. The right lane will close while crews do bridge work. This closure includes the exit to Military Drive and the entrance from Culebra Road.
  • Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. Main lanes and frontage roads, both directions, at US Hwy 90. All lanes will close while crews set steel bridge support beams overhead. This is a total closure of the highway. All traffic will exit US Hwy 90. Southbound traffic will head west to Hunt Lane, turn around and return to I-410. Northbound traffic will head east to West Military, turn around and return to I-410.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 5 a.m. Eastbound ramp to southbound I-410, westbound ramp to northbound I-410. The ramps will close while crews set overhead bridge support beams. Eastbound traffic will turn around at West Military to reach its destination. Westbound traffic will turn around at Hunt Lane to reach its destination.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North San Antonio
  • Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes at Sonterra Boulevard. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound frontage roads between Loop 1604 and Sonterra Boulevard. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Donella Drive and Sonterra Boulevard. Alternating lanes will close while crews restripe the road. This closure includes the entrance ramp from Donella Drive and Henderson Pass.
  • Monday-Friday, December 4-8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes at Sonterra Boulevard. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 1. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, between Ingram and Potranco roads. The turn lanes will close while crews work on pedestrian signal poles.
  • Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 8. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road between Ingram and Potranco roads. The left lane will close while crews work on overhead highway sign support structures. This closure will not be done on Friday or Saturday nights.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, January 26, 2018. North-to-south turnaround at Bandera Road. The turnaround will remain closed while crews do road work. Traffic will use the signalized intersection to turn around.
Other roads – Helotes
  • Current until Sunday, December 31. Bandera Road, both directions, at FM 1560. All left- and right-turn lanes will close while crews do road work. Those turning onto FM 1560 or onto Circle A Trail will do so from the through lanes of traffic. Field staff will adjust signal timing as required.
Other roads – West San Antonio
  • Friday, December 1 at 9 p.m. until Monday, December 4 at 6 a.m. Marbach Road, both directions, west of Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews reconstruct the intersection. Traffic will use Emory Peak to reach its destination.
  • Monday, December 4 at 9 a.m. until Friday, December 8 at 5 p.m. Westcreek Oaks Drive, both directions, at Loop 1604. All lanes will close while crews construct the new southbound frontage road. Traffic will use Military Drive and Potranco Road to reach its destination.
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, November 22

Mail Bag: Turnarounds along I-10 East, resurfacing on Lp 1604 and more

I recently discovered a historical marker on Ammann Rd just east of SH 46, celebrating the Pinta Trail. If I had not checked out the Historical Commission of Texas' website, I would have never knew it existed. Are there not a lot of historical marker directional signage on state-maintained roads in Kendall County? I seem to see them in many other portions of the State, but maybe I'm missing the forest for the trees in my own area.
- Mark

This question caused us to go back to our Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices and our traffic operations gurus to find a good answer. Section 2M.11 covers these specific signs.
You're welcome to peruse the MUTCD on your own at any time. It's a handy guide for understanding the why's behind the what's with our signs.
Alright ... the answer (in plain English): We provide signs for all historical markers that are within our right-of-way and are outside city limits. In this case, the marker may have fallen outside our right-of-way and may even be in city limits.
If there are any markers you're seeing without these call-out signs that fit the bill of being in our right-of-way and are outside city limits, let us know!

The schematic for the IH 10 E & FM 1516 intersection calls for a complete reconfiguration, with turnarounds in both directions (for 1516) and two lanes in each direction for the underpass, including replacing existing riprap with retaining wall. Presently TSC has used the eastern half of the 1516 overpass to install an east-to-west turnaround. Why does this differ from the project schematic? And when will the 1516 intersection be reconfigured to match the schematic? If TSC bid an alternate to the schematic, why wasn't the public notified?
- Marshall

Great questions, Marshall. For argument's sake, let's use the schematics posted online as our base for this conversation. Fair?
These schematics are preliminary and used to explain what our overall vision for the project is. This vision remains.
Yes, we fully intend to construct turnarounds at the FM 1516 intersection as we had presented during our public meetings on the work being done. During the detailed design stages of the project we discovered an elevation issue with this intersection, however. If we were to construct the turnarounds under the current bridge, as shown in the preliminary schematics, we would end up with either (1) turnarounds rendered unusable by large trucks because the clearance under the bridge is too short or (2) major flooding problems from turnarounds cut deeply into the ground and set well below the elevation of the roadway around it.
The solution? Build a new bridge.
That's happening during the expansion of I-10 set to begin later next year. We're adding a lane in each direction between I-410 and Loop 1604. In doing this, we're also replacing many of the overpass bridges - including the bridge over FM 1516 - and making them longer, taller and wider. After this bridge work is done the turnarounds will be built permanently.
The turnarounds you're seeing built right now to serve eastbound-to-westbound traffic is a temporary turnaround conceived to ease traffic pressures at the intersection with the one-way roads. We've actually change-ordered this temporary turnaround into the contract Texas Sterling has; their plans never included the turnarounds earlier.

Why is the Thousand Oaks exit off I-35 closed and is this permanent?
- Lucille

It is permanent - and rather than call it "closed" we would call it "moved". We discussed this in a video post earlier, but we moved the exit south a bit to improve the overall operation of the highway out there.

I noticed Asphalt Milling Machines and rollers parked on this of 1604 West bound close to La Cantera. If this for a TxDOT project on 1604 or something else?
- Zane

Nope, that's us! We are resurfacing Loop 1604 (main lanes and frontage roads) between Bandera Road and Rogers Ranch/Bitters Road. Work started back in October and will continue until summer 2018. Expect to see daytime work on the frontage roads. We'll stay off the main lanes during the day, though. Don't expect to see that overnight activity until temperatures heat up, this upcoming spring.

On the SH 16 & 1604 project I see that the base is layers of asphalt. What's the life span for this method? It doesn't seem to work long on normal street traffic.
- Pamela

This is actually pretty standard for us. There are several layers to a roadway. The Express-News did a really interesting story about the Recipe for a Roadway almost two years ago. It's definitely worth a look.
Any roadway is a lot like an onion - there are several layers most of us never see or fully understand. What's more, those layers are not all asphalt - we often mistake other layers as mere digging or blading, when we're really building those additional non-asphalt layers.
Our depths are different than what you see on a city street or in your subdivision - that's important to keep in mind. While many municipal roadways measure their depth in inches, ours are measured in feet. That base of asphalt is at least 18 inches deep and rests atop base layers of a variety of compacted soils.

What is the status of putting the steel beams in place for hwy 151 over 410? I remember a while back it was supposed to occur in November. Now there appears to be no word of it. In fact it seems the hwy 90 work is going faster than 151.
- Steve

The beams should be here in January, and we could be setting beams as soon as February. This falls within the timeframe given back in June.
As for project pace, please do not refer to a single aspect of the projects to make an overall assessment of the progress of projects. Doing so can set yourself up for an unreasonable expectation on both projects.
To be honest, both jobs are on their predetermined pace; the 151-410 project is set to wrap up late summer 2018 as promised when we broke ground. The 410-90 project still has quite a bit of work remaining. While you're seeing steel beams placed, you'll carefully note the frontage work now nearly done on the 151-410 project has a long way to go. You'll also note the bridge work and work on the ramps at Marbach has just begun and has more than a year before that's complete. That sort of work on the 410-151 job has nearly finished.
Hopefully that helps.
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