1 Dec 2009, 1:15am
Commuting Construction and closures:

Comments Off on Bridges, new lanes finally coming for FM 3009

Bridges, new lanes finally coming for FM 3009

FM 3009 through Garden Ridge and Schertz rolls over hills and past two railroad tracks to usher some 20,000 drivers to and from Interstate 35 every day.

Workers ready to go on FM 3009

Construction will soon start on FM 3009

The daily odyssey along two and four lanes is far from smooth. Traffic backs up during rush hours. Thundering trains blaring horns stop lines of cars for minutes at a time.

But one thing sure to be worse will be the construction to fix the mess. And yes, after years of planning and securing needed funds, the time has arrived to widen the road and build bridges over the rail lines.

Work is scheduled to start this week to build the two overpasses and add a lane in each direction between I-35 and Nacogdoches Road, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

On Thursday night, crews will move traffic to one side of the FM 3009, leaving Friday morning commuters with one lane in each direction for about a mile. This phase of the project could last 10 months.

FRIDAY UPDATE: TxDOT pushed the schedule back a few days. Look for closures that will leave one lane in each direction to start Tuesday morning; later if weather doesn’t cooperate.

DEC. 9 UPDATE: Another schedule change, due to weather, has pushed the start of closures, which will leave one lane in each direction, to this Thursday morning. TxDOT says the work has indeed started.

Also, workers will soon start building an alternate road at the railroad crossings. That way crews can temporarily close that part of FM 3009, which currently has only one lane in each direction there, to make way for the bridge construction without having to shut down traffic.

“It has to stay open,” TxDOT spokeswoman Maggie Rios said of traffic flows.

Knowing that motorists would be looking to avoid the tighter traffic squeezes, the cities of Garden Ridge and Schertz upgraded parallel roadways — Doerr Lane and Nacogdoches Loop — to handle a spike in traffic.

“Spike” isn’t quite the right word to describe the habit changes ahead. The $17.6 million project, plus hefty change for utility work, will last more than two years.

By October 2012, commuters will have four and six lanes of shiny blacktop stretching two miles, along with medians, turn lanes and bicycle lanes. And the new bridges will eliminate two rail crossings, thus helping hush the screaming train horns.

So, to pull a cliché from my hack bag, that’s the good news and the bad news.


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