A busy stretch of Hildebrand Avenue has become a one-way street, thanks to a construction project that got underway Monday morning.
The lane closures are affecting traffic traveling on Hildebrand between the San Antonio River and N. New Braunfels Avenue. The road is open only to eastbound traffic.
The city of San Antonio’s Capital Improvements Management Services is overseeing the work, which calls for drainage and sewer upgrades in the area.
Plans also include redoing sidewalks, adding lights and burying utility lines, which, ultimately, should help to increase traffic flow nearby, according to public relations manager Melissa Sparks.
Sparks said the total cost of the improvement work is $15.5 million.
For some drivers, though, the costs right now are measured in time.
Derek Lenz said he had to leave his home 15 minutes earlier to make it to his job the University of the Incarnate Word on time.
"I used to take (Highway) 281 just to Hildebrand. But now I'm doing 281, (Loop) 410, Nacogdoches to New Braunfels,” Lenz said. "This definitely makes it more difficult to get to work but we're managing."
Lenz said he and some of his co-workers planned ahead and made arrangements to park in a lot off Broadway, rather than fight through traffic on Hildebrand.
Still, there were some things that took him by surprise, such as the length of the project.
"Eighteen months! I didn't know it was that long,” Lenz said. “Oh wow!"
Other drivers, attempting to turn onto westbound Hildebrand, seemed surprised by construction work, itself.
Sparks said the project should wrap up around the summer of 2014.