SAN ANTONIO -

A 30-month-long, $35 million project to expand Interstate 10 on the Northwest side officially kicked off on Monday but has yet to cause a hassle for commuters. That will change, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman says.

"You're not going to se a lot of activity. What that means is we've started setting out barriers and signs," Josh Donat said. "There won't be a real impact (for another) two weeks."

The project will run on Interstate 10 from Fredericksburg Road to Loop 1604. It includes adding a lane in each direction and getting rid of one on-ramp and one off-ramp between Huebner Road and De Zavala Road.

Eventually, the De Zavala exit will be eliminated permanently, forcing traffic to the Woodstone exit, Donat said.

"The real purpose here is to improve safety," he said. "Anyone who's driven that corridor on a regular basis understands that during traffic hours, there's a lot of weaving in and out of traffic for people who get on and off that freeway."

Although Donat said the first few weeks -- or even months -- of the project shouldn't have a major impact traffic, he admitted there will be some rough spots down the road.

Donat said heavy congestion will likely become a problem when construction begins at the intersection of De Zavala Road and at the Fredericksburg Road bridge.

He also said drivers will have to get used to using smaller lanes as they will temporarily be reduced to a width of 11 feet, instead of the usual 14 feet.

"It's going to cut that extra three feet that people are used to being able to drift a little bit and it's going to make it a little tighter when you have the semi-trucks in that area," he said. 

Donat said TxDOT anticipates the project will affect about 200,000 people daily but promises it will be worth it.

"Just be patient with us and when we're all done, this is going to be awesome," said Donat.