This is an excerpt taken from the Texas Contractor website. Click here to read the article in its entirety on the site.
What does it take to transform one of the most-congested roadways in San Antonio, Texas, into a fast-moving expressway?
In the case of U.S. 281 in Bexar County, the answer is $370 million, almost two decades of planning, and five years of construction – but the end result will turn the 8-mile divided highway filled with traffic signals into a full expressway with two general-purpose lanes, one high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, continuous frontage roads for local access, and bicycle/pedestrian facilities in each direction.
General Contractor Webber Construction of Houston, Texas, started the project’s 3.8-mile, $192 million phase one in August 2017. With 43 months to finish and 19 bridges to construct, Webber and their 40-plus subcontractors sent 200 workers to the jobsite. Crews regularly work 24 hours a day, six days a week, with occasional Sunday hours. Ongoing utility relocations and the discovery of hidden karst features in the rocky terrain often require crews to move to a different location.
Despite those challenges, the first phase of the project remains ahead of its 2021 completion schedule. The second phase will begin next March, with substantial completion projected in spring 2023.