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Monday, October 16

Mail Bag: Hwy 151 at Hunt Lane, traffic counts and the future of 1604 and 151

Where can I find statistics that will tell me the approximate increase in vehicles or road usage over the last 10-15 years invarious areas of the city or county?
- Canny

So, we have maps showing the average number of trips on our roads ranging back to 2010, but not before then. You may want to check with the city or the county for traffic counts on roads not part of the TxDOT system.
When you do check out our map, keep in mind the blue numbers show the average daily traffic at that spot.

When is the Hunt Lane exit on 151 going to open?
- Sarah
What's going on with 151? Hunt Lane exit has been closed for almost 3 months when it should have been closed for 1 month. Also, it looks like they are ripping apart the walls of the highway exits. Please explain to us what it going on. My entire neighborhood is getting annoyed and confused.
- Fred

The latest schedule shows opening by Thanksgiving. We still have a retaining wall to finish up and lay asphalt out there. If Williams Brothers Construction is able to continue at their current pace we are only a matter of weeks from being ready to open things back up.
I was wondering why the lights on Alamo Ranch Parkway were not sync'd to allow traffic to flow better. Seems like you have to stop every time.
- Chris

We know you hate the answer, but those signals aren't under TxDOT control. They belong to Bexar County Public Works - they should have more information than we do about the timing strategy of that signal.

I know the original plans for the 151-1604 interchange did not include a flyover between 151-West and 1604-North. Is there any possibility of one in the near future?
- Peter

Great question, Peter. We just brought a consultant on board to study a variety of options for this location - we have to look at options with a variety of budget levels - and will begin fleshing these options out. We do not yet have funding for anything right there, but that could come as the need is quantified and the options identified clearly.
The bad news: any changes are at least a few years out, so you won't see anything coming before 2020 (barring some sort of miraculous windfall). We do want your neighbors to know we are mindful of the issue, though, and we are working on a solution.

I love how 24 hours a day 6 days a week has turned into a few minutes a day, five days a week for the 1103 bridge replacement. Heck, now you have even changed the closures to 9 am to 5 pm, hardly the 24 hours a day you advertised.
- Laughable

To be honest, Laughable, this one is the fault of our communications team. During our preconstruction meeting we asked whether we would be working around-the-clock and thought we were told that would happen. The contractor has the ability to work either day or night, and crews will be splitting time between both overnight and daytime shifts. If they work overnight, you won't see anything during the day - and vice versa. While we'll have a smattering of both, it won't be around-the-clock work as initially published.
This was a misunderstanding on our part - we are sorry.
Either way, we're still making headway on the project and will wrap up spring 2019.

Friday, October 13

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Boerne
  • Wednesday, October 18 at 9 p.m. until Thursday, October 19 at 6 a.m. Westbound main lanes at Exit 540. The right lane will close while crews resurface the road.
I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Monday, October 23 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. 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 to reach its destination.
I-10 – Leon Springs
  • Monday-Thursday, October 16-19. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Pkwy. The left lane will close while crews lay asphalt.
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Saturday, October 14 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Frontage roads, both directions, between Foster and Graytown roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews convert the frontage roads to one-way only. This change is permanent. When work is finished each frontage road will have only one lane until the project is finished.
  • Saturday, October 21 at 6 a.m. until Monday, October 23 at 5 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Foster Road and FM 1516. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams. Eastbound traffic will exit Foster Road and westbound traffic will exit FM 1516. Both directions will follow the frontage road and re-enter the highway at the next available ramp. Please note the frontage roads on both sides will be a single lane.
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between West Hollywood and Fredericksburg Road. The right lane will close while crews do concrete work.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Tuesday, October 17 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at York Creek and Alligator Creek. Alternating lanes will close while crews replace the curb.
I-35 – Selma
  • Current until October 2018. Frontage roads, both directions, at FM 1103. The right lane will close while crews replace the FM 1103 overpass bridge.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, October 11-12. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road at FM 1103. Alternating lanes will close while crews restripe the road to a single lane. This closure includes the exit ramp to FM 1103. The ramp will reopen by the end of the day; the frontage road will remain at a single lane until the end of 2018.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, October 23. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Thousand Oaks Drive. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Sunday-Friday, October 15-20. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Broadway and I-410. The two left lanes will close while crews work on bridge joints.
  • Sunday-Friday, October 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between I-410 and Broadway. Alternating lanes will close while crews seal coat the shoulders.
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road connector to the southbound I-410 connector ramp. The left lane will close while crews work on guardrail.
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 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, October 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. daily. Eastbound main lanes between Vance-Jackson and Blanco roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do concrete work. This closure includes entrance and exit ramps as needed. Traffic will use the next available ramp to reach its destination.
I-410 – West San Antonio
  • Current until Tuesday, October 31. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Sunday, October 15 until Friday, November 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. The left two lanes will close while crews work on overhead highway sign structures.
  • Monday, October 16 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, October 17 at 5 a.m. Frontage roads, both directions, between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on traffic signals.
  • Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m. until Monday, October 22 at 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Hwy 151 and US Hwy 90. All lanes will close while crews shift traffic over Marbach Road. Traffic will exit Marbach Road, continue along the frontage road and use the next available ramp to re-enter the highway. Left turns onto Marbach will be restricted during this closure.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Monday-Tuesday, October 16-17. 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Westbound main lanes between Medio Creek and Loop 1604. The left lane will close while crews do concrete work.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, October 17-19. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Westbound frontage road between Herbert Lane and Leon Creek. The left lane will close while crews drill for support foundations.
  • Thursday, October 19. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Westbound frontage road between Leon Creek and old US 90. The right lane will close while crews drill for support foundations.
  • Thursday, October 19. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Westbound frontage road between Rockgate and Colt Street. The left lane will close while crews drill for support foundations.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North San Antonio
  • Saturday, October 21. 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Southbound frontage road between Sonterra Road and Loop 1604. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, October 23-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Frontage Road Exit and Sonterra Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
U.S. Hwy 281 – Near north San Antonio
  • Monday, October 16 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, October 17 at 6 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between I-37 and I-410. The right lane will close while crews work on guardrails.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Wednesday-Friday, October 18-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage roads, both directions, at Ingram Road. The right lane will close while crews work on traffic signals.
Loop 1604 – North San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. West-to-east turnaround at US 281. The turnaround will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will use the signalized intersection to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes at US 281. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between Stone Oak Parkway and Cold Canyon Road. The right lane will close while crews set barrier. This closure includes the direct connector to southbound US 281. Traffic will exit northbound US 281 and use the frontage roads to reach southbound US 281.
  • Monday-Friday, October 23-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road between US 281 and Stone Oak Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews set barrier.
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.
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound frontage road at Bandera Road. The right turn lane will close while crews do road work.
  • Saturday, October 21. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Southbound main lanes at Medio Creek. The right lane will close while crews set bridge support beams.
Other roads – New Braunfels
  • Monday, October 16 until Friday, October 27. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound Hwy 46 between County Road 127 and Cloud Lane. The right lane will close while crews drill support structures for new traffic signals.
Other roads – West San Antonio
  • Friday, October 13 at 8 p.m. until Monday, October 16 at 5 a.m. Marbach Road, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews wreck overhead bridge structures. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road, turn around at the first available intersection and return to Marbach to reach its destination.
  • Sunday, October 16 until Friday, November 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Hunt Lane, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews work on the overhead bridge. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road and turn around at the next available intersections.
  • Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m. until Monday, October 30 at 5 a.m. Marbach Road, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews wreck overhead bridge structures. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road, turn around at the first available intersection and return to Marbach to reach its destination.
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound Bandera Road between Legend Trail and Stonecroft. The right lane and right turn lane will close while crews do road work.
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, October 12

I-10 frontage roads at Old Fred Rd

We've gotten all of your calls and emails regarding the upcoming closure of the I-10 frontage road at Old Fred Road. We made a video explaining what traffic will do during this closure.
Note: This closure is located near the Mr. W Fireworks stand, not the intersection of Fair Oaks Parkway.


UPDATE (18 Oct): Paving for the temporary detour under the I-10 main lanes has been stalled, pushing this closure to start the morning of Monday, October 30

Tuesday, October 10

Some quick hits on the Lp 1604 expansion

Can you believe we've been running more than a year on the expansion of Loop 1604 between Hwy 151 and US Hwy 90?
We can't - and we're shocked (and a little ashamed) we've not provided an update since ... well ... it's been a while.
With that in mind we wanted to get you a look at what's happening. We want to do it quick, so we're doing it with bullet points. If you hold out to the end you can see what's going on with other portions of Loop 1604 as well.

Hwy 151 to Potranco
  • Work on the Military Drive intersection is plugging along and should wrap up by the end of the month, as indicated earlier.
  • We had to add retaining walls along the southbound frontage roads due to steeper slopes than what was originally envisioned during the design process.
  • Due to the above change a planned traffic shift for later this year has been moved (tentatively) to summer 2018. This date could change if weather and other issues don't work out our way.
  • Zachry Construction is running ahead of schedule, which will mitigate the schedule impact from the retaining wall issue. Between that speed and some out-of-sequence work on the northbound frontage roads that will start soon, you should be able to use the new express lanes by end of summer 2019.
Potranco to US 90
  • You're likely seeing lots of digging for the road bed between Emory Peak and Potranco - this will eventually be the southbound frontage road.
  • Dirt and bridge crews are working on a retaining wall for what will be an overpass at Dove Canyon.
  • Bridge crews are working on supporting foundations for the direct connector for southbound Loop 1604 to eastbound US 90.
  • The bridge for what will be the southbound main lanes over Marbach is starting to take shape, as are bridges at Medio Creek and at US 90.
  • The easiest thing to see for most folks is the progress on those bridges, which continues steadily.
  • Webber Construction is currently on pace to wrap up fall 2019.
Other spots on Loop 1604
  • We just held an open house about the future of the segment between US 90 and I-35; that information is all posted online.
  • We also have plans for US 281 on the southeast side of Bexar County, which have been presented publicly in recent months.
  • The TTC just approved funds for the RMA to develop the MPO's plan to expand Loop 1604 between Bandera Road and I-35 on the north end of town. Was that enough "alphabet soup"? TTC = Texas Transportation Commission, RMA = Regional Mobility Authority, MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
  • We have a project expanding Loop 1604 between Pat Booker Road and FM 78 on deck for next year (no right-of-way is needed for this work), and another job continuing that expansion all the way to Judson is right on the heels.

Monday, October 9

This week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Boerne
  • Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m. until Friday, October 13 at 6 a.m. Westbound main lanes at Exit 540. The right lane will close while crews resurface the road.
  • Tuesday, October 17 at 9 p.m. until Wednesday, October 18 at 6 a.m. Westbound main lanes at Exit 540. The right lane will close while crews resurface the road.
I-10 – Fair Oaks Ranch
  • Monday, October 23 at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, December 29. Westbound frontage road at Old Fredericksburg Road/Buckskin Drive. All lanes will close while crews replace drain structures. Traffic will follow the signed detour route to reach its destination.
I-10 – Leon Springs
  • Monday-Thursday, October 9-12. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Monday, October 9 at 8 p.m. until Tuesday, October 10 at 5 a.m. Westbound main lanes between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Roland Avenue. The left lane will close while crews move barrier and striping.
  • Saturday, October 14 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Frontage roads, both directions, between Foster and Graytown roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews convert the frontage roads to one-way only. This change is permanent. When work is finished each frontage road will have only one lane.
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-12. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road connector to the westbound frontage road of I-410. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. daily. Eastbound main lanes between Callaghan Road and Crossroads. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete. This closure includes the exit ramp to Crossroads.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between Callaghan Road and Vega Drive. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road connector to the westbound frontage road of I-410. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between West Hollywood and Fredericksburg Road. The right lane will close while crews work on sidewalks.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, October 11-12. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between Crossroads and Vance Jackson. The left lane will close while crews pour concrete.
I-35 – Selma
  • Current until October 2018. Frontage roads, both directions, at FM 1103. The right lane will close while crews replace the FM 1103 overpass bridge.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, October 11-12. 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road at FM 1103. Alternating lanes will close while crews restripe the road to a single lane. This closure includes the exit ramp to FM 1103. The ramp will reopen by the end of the day; the frontage road will remain at a single lane until the end of 2018.
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, October 8-13. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Broadway and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews repair bridge joints.
  • Monday, October 9 until Monday, October 23. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Thousand Oaks Drive. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, October 10-12. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between Broadway and I-410. The left two lanes will close while crews pour concrete.
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 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Thursday, October 9-12. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound frontage road between Fredericksburg Road and Crossroads. The left lane will close while crews do concrete work.
I-410 – West San Antonio
  • Current until Tuesday, October 31. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road.
  • Sunday-Friday, October 8-13. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between US 90 and Hwy 151. The two right lanes will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. The left two lanes will close while crews work on overhead highway sign supports.
  • Tuesday, October 10 at 9 p.m. until Wednesday, October 11 at 5 a.m. Frontage roads, both directions, at Military Drive. Alternating lanes will close while crews install new traffic signals.
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound frontage road between Hunt Lane and I-410. The left lane will close while crews do overhead concrete work.
U.S. Hwy 281 – North San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to Sonterra Road. The ramp will close while crews set barrier and mark pavement. Traffic will use the frontage road ramp to reach its destination.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road at Sonterra Road. The left lane will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Sonterra Road and Loop 1604. The right two lanes will close while crews set barrier.
U.S. Hwy 281 – Near north San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, October 8-13. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Olmos Basin and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews stripe the road. This closure includes ramps as needed.
  • Sunday-Friday, October 8-13. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Olmos Basin and Jones Maltsberger. The left lanes will close while crews repair bridge joints.
  • Sunday-Friday, October 8-13. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Josephine and I-410. The right lane will close while crews restripe the road. This closure includes ramps as needed.
  • Monday, October 9 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, October 10 at 6 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Jones-Maltsberger and Mulberry. The two right lanes will close while crews pour concrete.
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, October 13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes between Ingram Road and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews work on the Hunt Lane overpass bridge. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, continue through the intersections and re-enter after Hunt Lane.
Loop 1604 – North San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound frontage road at US 281. The westbound-to-eastbound turnaround will close while crews set barrier.
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes at US 281. The right lane will close while crews set barrier.
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, January 26. 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
  • Monday-Friday, October 9-13. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Circle A Trail at Bandera Road. The southbound lane will close while crews set barrier. Traffic will be one-way controlled by a flagger.
Other roads – Boerne
  • Monday, October 9 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, October 10 at 5 a.m. Scenic Loop Road, both directions, at I-10. All lanes will close while crews place concrete. Traffic will turn around at Balcones Creek to reach its destination.
All closures are pending weather.

Friday, October 6

Northbound I-410 closure this weekend

We've gotta be honest - this one got jumbled in our schedule a bit. This alert should have gone out at least two days ago. It didn't. That's entirely on us and a schedule oversight this week.

Williams Brothers Construction will close all lanes of northbound I-410 between US Hwy 90 and Hwy 151 Saturday at 2 a.m. until Monday at 5 a.m.

This closure follows a brief overnight closure of southbound I-410 between Hwy 151 and US 90 starting tonight at 8 p.m. going until about 2 a.m. tomorrow. Only one direction of traffic will be closed at a time.

Here's the closure narrative in our traditional format:
  • Friday, October 6 at 8 p.m. until Saturday, October 7 at 2 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Marbach and Valley Hi. All lanes will close while crews work on center median barrier. Traffic will exit Marbach, continue along the frontage road through Marbach Road and re-enter the highway before Valley Hi.
  • Saturday, October 7 at 2 a.m. until Monday, October 9 at 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between US Hwy 90 and Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews reconfigure the road. Traffic will exit US Hwy 90, continue along the frontage road through the Marbach intersection and re-enter at the next available ramp. Traffic will remain in the right lane until after Hwy 151.
During the closure of the northbound main lanes the turnarounds at Marbach will close and left turns onto or off of Marbach at I-410 will be heavily restricted by the off-duty officers controlling traffic at the intersection for the weekend. If you're looking to turn left onto Marbach off of I-410 you may want to find another way. If not you'll end up staying on the frontage road to the next available turnaround to return to the intersection. If you're in the southbound lanes that means going all the way down to Valley Hi to turn around.

The turnarounds will remain closed until the new bridge is complete spring of 2020.

This weekend’s closure allows Williams Brothers to shift traffic toward the center median over the Marbach Road overpass bridge. The Marbach Road overpass bridge is being reconstructed and widened to accommodate lanes headed to and coming from two new direct connectors being built at the intersection of I-410 and U.S. 90. A similar shift with accompanying closures on the southbound side will come October 20-23. With all lanes running in the middle of the bridge Williams Brothers will be able to reconstruct the outer portion of the bridge.

The reconstruction work starts by demolishing the outer edge of the existing bridge. Williams brother will tear out the edge of the northbound bridge October 13-16 and will wreck the edge of the southbound bridge October 27-30. Both weekends Marbach Road will close under I-410 and the frontage road on the side of the demolition activity will likely have some corresponding closures. Those details will be published in our weekly closure report.

You catch all that? Here's a little easier way to look at it:
  • October 7-9 - Full closure of northbound main lanes between US 90 and Hwy 151
  • October 13-16 - Full closure of Marbach at I-410, closure of northbound frontage road (will still have one lane open)
  • October 20-23 - Full closure of southbound main lanes between Hwy 151 and US 90
  • October 27-30 - Full closure of Marbach at I-410, closure of northbound frontage road (will still have one lane open)
Work on the $72.4 million project started January 2017 and will wrap up mid-2020.

Mail Bag: Ideas from New Mexico and our past; a history question

What retail businesses and restaurants can we expect on 281 N near TPC Parkway?
- Tania

Honestly, Tania, your guess is as good as ours. We can only bet the business corridor will continue to develop up that way the way it has over the last decade-plus.

Why doesn't TxDOT utilize the white canvas shields that block motorists views of construction projects? New Mexico employed these shields when the I-25/I-40 exchange was rebuilt. It minimized the traffic slowdown since motorist were no longer distracted by the construction since they could not see it.
- Vicky
You know, this question intrigued us. We got on the phone and actually called the good folks with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to chat a bit and are happy to share what we found.
First, the only major project NMDOT used these "gawk shields" (their term) was on the "Big I" project - construction of the major interchange of I-25 and I-40 in the heart of Albuquerque back in 2002. These were not widely used, and have not been used since.
Per the NMDOT, the shields were basically two-foot-tall planks of plywood fixed via two-by-fours to the top of concrete barriers along the work zones. While it did create a visual barrier to prevent gawking (thus the name of these shields), they don't comply with current safety regulations as a barricade. Those familiar with working on projects involving federal funding know such violations disqualify a project from receiving federal dollars.
So to answer your question directly, Vicky, we won't be employing Gawk Shields until we can find a way to get them to comply with federal safety standards - and, even then, it appears these shields would be used pretty sparingly.

When was the DeZavala exit closed to combine with the new Woodstone/DeZavala exit?
- Demetrio
Ah, geez, Demetrio. That's really digging into our memory banks!
Looking through posts back in 2014 it seems that happened June (or perhaps July) of 2014. We had a firm schedule for June 19, then had some weather issues that summer that pushed our work to mid-July.
That's the closest we can get through our searches. Hope that helps!

The amber color is difficult to read on the lighted road signs in many cases. Also, when there is a lot of information on the sign, there should be more than one sign (kind of like the old "Burma-Shave" signs) of many years ago where you can read ALL of the information - going too fast to read on one sign as they are now.
- Glenna
Holy smokes - those Burma-Shave signs are old-school! Those are still used by businesses around the country, though we've not used them on our projects for a number of years.
We actually have a standard we have to follow when using our portable changeable message boards. These standards are found in section 6F.60 in the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Particular to your question, we'll look at paragraphs 11-12 and 20-21.
First, we have to keep each panel active at least two seconds (no more than eight) before changing to the next panel. We typically shoot for about four seconds, sometimes five. The lettering is supposed to be visible from about a half-mile in both day and night conditions. That's typically done by adjusting the brightness of the lights. Against the black background on these signs to provide contrast, that's our best practice.
We can use LED message boards - that's allowed, but involves some additional issues - but don't because of the increased cost. Honestly, we simply request a "portable changeable message board" and let the contractor figure out which one makes most economic sense to use.
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