The Texas Department of Transportation held a public hearing Tuesday night regarding the $82 million project to transform Loop 1604 from Culebra Road to Bandera Road into a free-flowing highway with frontage roads by removing the current traffic lights that cause heavy back-ups.
“It is definitely going to be relief for those folks that have to drive this on a daily basis,” said TxDOT spokesperson Laura Lopez. “Just hang tight for when the project does start.”
At the public hearing, most people we talked to seemed ready for that relief but did have some concerns of their own.
One resident questioned the roughly $6 million used to build the Super Street along that stretch of 1604 which was completed in 2011.
“I think its going to be really good,” said Marybeth Noel of the new project. “But I’m kind of dismayed about the money they put into the existing roads just a year ago. It just seems like wasted money.”
TxDOT says the Super Street was a temporary fix until the funding for this more permanent solution became available.
Other attendees at the hearing expressed their concerns about how the highway will affect traffic through residential areas off of 1604.
The exit to be built to New Guilbeau Road, in particular.
“I am afraid it will give us more traffic on a boulevard that is not designed to carry that traffic,” said Dominick Dina, who lives in the area.
New overpasses are also slated to be built at New Guilbeau, Braun Road and Shaenfield Road.
Construction is set to begin by the end of 2013 and the project is estimated to take two years to complete.
As for how drivers will be affected during the construction phase, TxDOT says those details are still in the works.
“I think that the end justifies the means. You’ve got to suffer a little bit to have something better in the end,” Noel said.