29 Jun 2015, 11:18am
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Ribbon cut on Fred-Med project

After nearly 20 years in the making, TxDOT, COSA, and South Texas Medical Center officials celebrated the completion of the Medical Drive underpass at Fredericksburg Road this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and opened the new lanes to traffic a short time later.

The nearly $15 million project was primarily done for safety, namely allowing ambulances quicker access to the Medical Center from I-10, bypassing the oft-congested Fredericksburg/Medical intersection.  As if on cue, the wailing siren from an emergency vehicle trying to navigate the intersection above interrupted the ceremony.  After the ribbon was cut, an ambulance and EMS squad truck were the first vehicles to “officially” use the underpass.

Because of the project’s location, several innovative techniques were used to build the underpass in order to minimize the disruption to traffic.  This included pouring the future retaining walls in-place before excavating for the underpass and building the new overpass off to the side of Fredericksburg, then sliding it into place along Teflon and dish soap coated rails.  Doing so meant that Fredericksburg was only closed for a week instead of the several months that would have been required with a traditional built-in-place overpass. You can see a time-lapse video of the slide here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNAJFPGzdL0

There are still quite a few punch-list items remaining, especially with the traffic signals, so even though they cut the ribbon today, expect to see workers and some lane closures for the next few weeks as they tie-up those loose ends.

Some photos from the ceremony are below.

 

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View approaching the underpass from I-10

 

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Media preparing for the ceremony

 

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Officials dedicating the project

 

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Cutting the ribbon

 

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An ambulance and EMS squad truck make their way through as the first
“official” vehicles to use the new underpass

 
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