New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 27, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, June 27, 2001 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 3A
“I’ve lived my life in South Texas, and I’d never seen them in this area.” The signs seemed a good way to keep people cognizant of the fire danger, and Brinkkoeter decided to bring the idea here. “Our wildland fires are a very high priority in Comal County with
people moving further and further out into rural areas,” Brinkkoeter said.
So, at Brinkkoeter’s suggestion, Man-ford went to county commissioners a couple of years ago, seeking money for four of the colorful signs.
‘We just want to raise awareness of the fire danger here in the summer,”
Right now, the fire risk in Comal County is considered “moderate,” downgraded from “high” due to weekend rains. But it could go back up quickly, Brinkkoeter warns.
“July and August are our most dangerous months,” he said.
FM 725/From 1A
the road so businesses can prepare for lane closures,” Malatek said.
The short answer to what to expect is much more construction, Malatek said.
But there was good news, too. Most of that construction is on or slightly ahead of schedule, and most of it involving lane closures will take place at night.
Malatek said, ‘The main gist of it is, we’re continuing with work on Interstate 35 south of and through New Braunfels.
“There shouldn’t be a lot of (disruptive) activity for the rest of this year. What you’ll see are some detours at the Ruekle Road bridge to have traffic out from under it while we work on that bridge.”
The second Dean Word project, which begins one-quarter mile north of Ruekle Road and goes to one-half mile north of Walnut Avenue, will enter its second phase in January, Malatek said.
Northbound traffic will be diverted onto the newly built center lanes so the northbound main lanes of the interstate can be rebuilt.
“The good part is we’ve gotten past all the utility conflicts on this project,” Malatek said.
The southbound FM 725 exit closed on Tuesday to facilitate work that remains on the frontage road at FM 725, Malatek said.
Southbound FM 725 traffic will be detoured off of Interstate 35 at Texas 46/Loop 337.
Access to the northbound 1-35 onramp has been restricted from FM 725. However, when the first new Guadalupe River bridge is on line in about a month, northbound interstate access will
Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Saturday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung CUSPS 377-880) 707 Landa St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas 78131-1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas.
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Interstate 35 and frontage road reconstruction continues in New Braunfels.
• Solms Road to just north of Ruekle Road will be completed by fall 2002. Cost of the Dean Word project is $11.4 million.
• The northbound lanes will be shifted to the newly built center lanes in January 2002 as $21.7 million in interstate and frontage road work continues to just north of Walnut Avenue. The work is slated to be complete by the end of 2002.
• Deavers Construction is doing the $25.3 million project from just south of FM 275 to just north of the Guadalupe River bridges, slated to be complete in the spring or summer of 2003.
• July-August 2001:
Seguin Avenue to Landa Street resurfacing to be performed by Hunter Industries as part of regional resurfacing work.
• Beginning September 2001; FM 1863 reconstruction from Texas 46 to Mission Valley Road. Work will continue into 2003.
• The final stretch of Interstate 35 work in New Braunfels, from just south of Texas 46 to FM 306, will be let in December 2002.
be available from FM 725, Malatek said.
“For once, you get an improvement,” Malatek said. “Weather permitting and if nothing else happens, it’s supposed to be ready in July.”
By the end of August, FM 725 will be open to four lanes, greatly improving access to
the east side of the city.
TxDOT has worked with Dean Word and Deavers Construction Company officials to ensure that all work that will close lanes happens at night, Malatek said.
“They’ve really stepped up to the table, and we’ve come to agreement on night lane closures,” he said.
An exception is the placement of bridge beams, which the state requires happen during daylight hours because of their size and the complexity of the job, Malatek said.
“So far, we’ve only had 20 days of daytime lane closures due to bridge work,” Malatek said. Most daytime lane closures are for repair of collision damage, he said.
This summer, Seguin Avenue, the Main Plaza, Landa Street and a piece of Texas 46 between Business 35 and Interstate 35 will be resurfaced. The work will take four or five weeks beginning in late July, Malatek said.
The long-awaited FM 1863 project, which will be let to a contractor in July, will begin in September.
‘We’re going to be widening the lanes to 12 feet and adding 10-foot shoulders,” Malatek said. “You’ll probably see activity out there for about 18 months.”
Work is in the planning stages for widening to four lanes and lowering the roads under the railroad bridges on Seguin Avenue and Landa Street, both of which are expected to be 18-month projects, Malatek said.
Seguin Avenue could happen in 2002.
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Landa Street will be worked on in 2003 or later, Malatek said.
In December 2002, the last interstate work in New Braunfels will be let for contract on the stretch of highway that begins just south of Texas 46 and runs to FM 306.
In the summer of 2002, TxDOT and New Braunfels will let the project to rebuild and raise the Gruene Road Guadalupe River bridge to accommodate a 5,500 cubic feet per second flow — the largest permitted from Canyon dam.
Officials hope to begin the project after floating season and complete it by Memorial Day 2003, Malatek said.
The work is vital to traffic flow in and through New Braunfels, Malatek said.
The centerpiece of the New Braunfels construction, Interstate 35 will feature four lanes of traffic in each direction through the city and one-way frontage roads with turnarounds at each intersection.
The exit ramps will have dedicated lanes and merge areas.
“We’re getting rid of the thing where you have to wrench your neck around,” Malatek said
Eager asked council for permission to be involved in the design of the road going into Gruene.
New Braunfels City Council pledged $2.6 million to improve Gruene Road, but engineers say that renovating the entire street will cost more than $4 million.
Current proposals center around three plans: Improve drainage and repair the entire length of Gruene; repair part of the street from Common Road to Post Road; or fix Gruene Street horn Past Road to Sunnybrook Road.
‘We have this Tfexas jewel,” Eager said. “And we need to keep it that way. We’re not opposed to drainage; we’re not opposed to safe streets.” David Hochanadel, representative from the Gruene Homeowner’s Association, said, “We want safety. We don’t feel like aesthetics are worth a single life. We want the road to be fixed — we want a wider, safer road.” Both groups pledged to work together for the same thing: Safer roads that don’t affect Gruene’s country atmosphere. “I don’t think the two groups are that far apart,” said District 4 Councilman Robert Kendrick, who represents the Gruene area.
In other action Monday, council:
• Agreed to become partners with the Festtage Committee for the Downtown Christmas lighting project. The city no longer will charge $4,000 to put up and take down the lights.
• Gave final approval to an ordinance creating the “commercial office districf in New Braunfels.
• Adopted the annexation calendar. The dates of the public hearings were set for July 11 and July 18.
• Agreed to participate in a project with state transportation department to create a landmark on Interstate 35.
“I’ve had several meetings with them and I don’t think their concerns are mutually exclusive. I think they can be worked out.”
Once the city decides the scope of the project on Gruene Road, officials plan to conduct a public workshop to listen to concerns from all areas of Gruene. The date for the workshop has not yet been set. Council plans to hear a proposal to cut costs for the project at its July 9 meeting.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION 830-372-6808 or 372-8083 • Fax: 830-372-6652 • [email protected]
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