2017-02-16 / Front Page

More asphalt goes down on 361

Dan Parker
News editor

Workers lay down pavement on State Hwy. 361, just north of Beach Access Road 1, on Monday, Feb. 13. 
Staff photo by Dan Parker Workers lay down pavement on State Hwy. 361, just north of Beach Access Road 1, on Monday, Feb. 13. Staff photo by Dan Parker While a project to widen one leg of State Highway 361 has wrapped up, work on other parts of The Island Road is expected to continue for months to come.

All lanes have been open for travel for a few weeks now on the freshly finished section of the highway that was widened between Avenue G and Beach Access Road 1A. The $13 million project lasted about two years and included construction of a hike-and-bike trail on one side of the highway and a sidewalk along part of the other side.

One of the last bits of work on this project leg came when the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) set up four portable message boards to alert motorists they were approaching pedestrian crosswalks.

“A longer-term safety measure (will be) the installation of flashing signs at the crosswalks and the installation of advance warning signs and/ or flashers to inform motorists of the crossing and to remind them that they should yield to pedestrians,” Dailey said.

The crosswalks were established because the sidewalk on the west side of the highway doesn’t extend throughout the entire length of the project area. A crosswalk was put in where that sidewalks ends. Then another crosswalk was put in further south, where the sidewalk resumes.

From 1A to 1

A $5.5 million project is still underway to expand the highway to four lanes between Beach Access Road 1A and Beach Access Road 1.

Crews currently are preparing right-of-way by removing obstructions and installing underground drainage, said Rickey Dailey, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Workers also are “cement stabilizing” the area under where the road’s surface will be in order to prolong the life of the new pavement, Dailey said. That also involves installing and compacting the road base, he said.

“We will be adjusting the existing low-profile barrier to prepare for Spring Break traffic volumes,” he said. “Adjusting the barrier will provide additional access for emergency vehicles.”

A concrete median will stretch from access roads 1 to 1A.

“This project will finish out the raised median north of Piper Boulevard and will install new raised medians to the south,” Dailey said.

Left-turn points will be included at Palmilla Beach Drive, Palmilla Way, Mustang Boulevard and Beach Access Road 1, he said.

The new median will be identical to the recently installed median north of Piper Boulevard, with colored, stamped concrete.

Work is expected to continue on the stretch from 1A to 1 for approximately another eight months, depending on the weather, Dailey said.

South of 1

Work also continues on a $6.5 million project to add passing lanes from Beach Access Road 1 to a point one mile south of Beach Access Road 2. That’s a total distance of 8.3 miles.

Work began in May last year and is expected to continue about another three months, weather permitting, Dailey said.

At press time, hot-mix paving was scheduled to take place this week and would continue for the new few weeks.

Motorists may see lanes soon shifted to the east side of the highway, Dailey said.

“They may also see intermittent one-lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic,” he said. “Motorists should expect delays.”

The work schedule may be adjusted to handle Spring Break traffic volumes, Dailey said .

The firm of Haas Anderson is the contractor on this project and the one between access roads 1A and 1. It also was the contractor on the project between Avenue G and 1A.

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