For New Braunfelsers tired of driving on the “warzone” that is the torn up area of San Antonio Street between Walnut and Academy, “relief is coming,” said New Branufels Public Works Director Greg Malatek.

Between the closure of the San Antonio Street Bridge for repairs and the road construction in front of McKenna Children’s Museum, San Antonio Street has been a hot topic amongst New Braunfels drivers. 

Malatek addressed both the bridge and the road construction during the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce’s transportation committee meeting Tuesday. 

“On San Antonio Street from Walnut to Academy, we’ll be taking to council the selection of a contractor to do the street and sidewalk work out there for that stretch,” Malatek said. “First part will be the street work.”

Folks have told Malatek it’s a rough ride out there, which Malatek said will only be temporary.

“The reality though, the way the hot mix gods work, are that it’ll probably start getting cold … around November and December, around the holiday … so don’t think you’ll start seeing work happening (yet),” Malatek said. “There will probably be more … work in the springtime, when it warms back up, that’s just how it works. So we’ll certainly keep trying to patch things up out there and keep it where it’s driveable.”

The city is still trying to get the street program for the next fiscal year complete, Malatek said.

“Our focus for September is getting all of our road program,” Malatek said. “The other good thing is we’ll be taking to council next fiscal year’s street plan, so if it’s a warm winter they can start working out there sooner,” Malatek said — they being city crews.

“The good thing is that council, decided — we got the second street crew, and so … whereas we were kind of dependent on the contractors (before) — they’re busy this time of the year too, we’re competing against other cities and (Texas Department of Transportation) for the same types of contractors — but we’ve got the second street crew (so) now we’re a little more mean and lean,” Malatek said.

Malatek also rehashed how the initial closing of the San Antonio Street Bridge has gone, and how folks are adjusting to the detour route.

“If you have an issue with the detour, it’s all city, it’s all on us,” Malatek said. “We’ve been watching the detour, and so it’s functioning okay.”

City staff will continue to watch the detour and make adjustments if needed, Malatek said.

“Probably the two things we’re seeing right now are on Union Street, where you have that dead end on the right, make a right on San Antonio, folks are still kind of either forgetting or not paying attention, so you see them get in there then they get back in, so we’re working to get some kind of signage up there,” Malatek said.

All river traffic will close under the bridge starting on Sept. 23, said Will Lockett, TxDOT New Braunfels area engineer. As an off-system bridge project, the state is paying for the bridge’s repair. 

“After the 23rd we’ll see larger equipment, bigger cranes and we’ll really get to the demo plan and trying to get the bridge rehabbed as quick as possible,” Lockett said. “Then we’ll really get to the demo plan and trying to get the bridge rehabbed as quick as possible. That project is just starting.”

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