60ºF

TxDOT announces expansion of Loop 1604 on city's west side

$82 million project to take 2 years to complete

A new Texas Department of Transportation construction project that will bring long-awaited overpasses to western portions of Loop 1604 is officially underway.
A new Texas Department of Transportation construction project that will bring long-awaited overpasses to western portions of Loop 1604 is officially underway.

Traffic lights along the west side of Loop 1604 have been known to get a driver's blood boiling, especially if that driver is trying to get somewhere fast.

"(For) the morning or afternoon traffic, you're looking, -- (with) the lights -- at a good 30 to 45 minutes," said Julian Fonseca, who lives near Shaenfield and Loop 1604.

"I spend a lot of time (at traffic lights), because I go to school over there at (Northwest) Vista," said another commuter. 

The long waits come courtesy of one of the fastest growing populations in Bexar County.

"You're talking about 100,000 vehicles a day in this area," said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Josh Donat.

Monday's announcement by TxDOT and Bexar County officials has been a long time coming for many who live on the far west side of San Antonio. 

Overpasses are to be built along 1604 to bridge Braun Road, Shaenfield Road, and New Guilbeau Road, along with a continuous frontage road between Bandera and Culebra.

In all, it will be 4.8 miles of construction that will take an estimated two years to complete.

"We've needed it for a long time, so I'm glad they're finally getting it started," said Fonseca.

"This is part of my commute, so I'm looking forward to it. I know my neighbors are looking forward to it, too," added Donat.

The addition, as expected, will be non-tolled. The $82 million cost will be covered partly from a surplus of funds identified by the state Legislature.  

Local monies from the Advanced Transportation District are also supplementing the project.

"A combo of state and local funds is making this happen," said Donat.

It is not all good news, though, as drivers will have to face construction in the area through the end of 2016. 

A project option is also listed that would complete a new intersection at Loop 1604 and Highway 151. It would come at an additional $44 million cost and is contingent upon federal environmental clearance.


About the Author: