This fall, Comal County will see the beginnings of three major road construction projects off the beaten path from the never-ending expansion of Interstate 35.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Webb and County Engineer Tom Hornseth on Thursday reviewed Texas Department of Transportation plans to begin work on the River Road overpass on Loop 337 and separate projects involving Farm-to-Market Road 2252 in September.
“We had a meeting Monday on some of the projects that are set to let, or begin, construction,” said Webb, vice chair of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in charge of distributing state
and federal dollars for regional transportation projects in Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe and parts of Kendall County.
Work on FM 2252, or Nacogdoches Road, extending from the Bexar County line north to FM 3009 in Garden Ridge, will be two separate projects.
Webb said contractors have been approved to construct the bridge, extending from the Evans Road intersection and over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Cibolo Creek, for $7.2 million. Construction will begin in September and last about 20 months.
“They broke the project up by first completing (improvements) to the primary intersection at Evans Road and FM 2252, which includes new bridges over the railroad tracks and turnaround lanes, in advance of the main bridge,” Hornseth said. “Due to the height of the bridge, they ran into problems with the transmission lines paralleling the track, which will have to be moved.”
The second will widen FM 2252 from two to four lanes with a center median from Evans Road north to FM 3009. The $22 million project will begin after the bridge is complete in early 2022.
Loop 337’s $45 million expansion into a four-lane divided highway, including pedestrian access, bridges and signals in a 6-mile stretch between Interstate 35 and Hillcrest Drive, began in November 2017 and projected for completion by late 2021.
Workers have completed signal installations and connections to Word and Borchers Drives, but not opened all of the eastbound lanes extending into the River Road intersection. The $10.5 million overpass will extend over the intersection to Rock Street. Webb said the project will begin in September and take about 18 months to finish.
“It should be complete by spring 2022,” he said. “This will be ongoing at the same time as work is being finished on Loop 337 sometime in spring 2021.”
Hornseth and Webb explained the intricacies involved with the overpass, which will also involve turnaround.
“In the future, the exit for Rock Street, heading east from (New Braunfels High School), will be further back from the main lanes,” Hornseth said, adding the new exit will be for both Rock Street and Gruene Road; exits on both sides will mesh into access to both venues.
Recently, northbound access to Loop 337 from Landa Street reopened after crews reconfigured the existing traffic island for entry and exit and added sidewalks.
Webb said although the Loop 337 turnarounds are hard for some to navigate, they are far better than what existed before. But he said the overpass and completion of the venue will finish in time to handle traffic accompanying the Veramendi project.
“We’re looking forward to that time, and then we’ll be able to move on to some of the other (road) needs in the county,” he said.