San Antonio city councilmembers are expected to learn more about several road projects aimed at easing congestion on San Antonio highways.

The four projects are part of the Bexar County/Alamo Regional Mobility Authority’s Strategic Mobility Plan.

The $1 billion proposal council members will be briefed on Wednesday includes projects on Loop 1604, I-10, and 281.

“Anyone who has driven those roads knows that some of the most congested roads that we have and have had for a number of years are [Loop] 1604, especially the north section of [Loop] 1604, Highway 281, and I-10,” said Bexar County Manager David Smith.

The projects include:

  • U.S. 281 from Marshall Road to the Bexar County/Comal County line ($230 million for four new managed lanes, two in each direction)

  • IH-10 from La Cantera Boulevard to Ralph Fair Road ($70 million for two new managed lanes, one in each direction)

  • Loop 1604 from Bandera Road to Redland Road ($540 million for four new managed lanes, two in each direction)

  • Loop 1604 from Potranco Road to Highway 90 ($100 million for non-tolled overpasses which results in a four-lane non-tolled expressway to match the rest of Loop 1604)

“(Toll roads) have been part of this region’s long-range transportation plan for quite a while. We’ve been replacing some of the roads that were originally tolled with expressways that would not be tolled and this plan is just another step in that direction,” Smith said. “(Installing toll roads) assume that with congestion comes a willingness, for some riders, to pay to get off the free lanes thereby freeing up the free lanes for everyone else.”

Smith said the plan is not new and has evolved over the last several years, but he cautioned that new toll roads were not imminent.

City officials would not comment on the proposal until after their meeting Wednesday afternoon, but residents were split on the idea.

“I think it’s a reasonable idea if it cuts down on traffic,” said Michael Galan. “I wouldn’t mind paying.”

“It just seem like more fees just for the city,” said Omar Alvarez. “I think there are other means, other choices, to go through instead of having to do toll roads.

For a list of recent stories Cory Smith has done, click here.