SAN ANTONIO – After more than a decade, construction on the expansion of U.S. Route 281 outside of Loop 1604 has begun.
It may not look like much now, but come Sunday, drivers can expect to see closures and workers on the highway.
Monday began three years of digging, pouring, and painting for the $192 million project to make U.S. 281 three lanes in each direction between Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway.
The second phase of the expansion, from Stone Oak Parkway to Borgfeld Drive, should begin in 2019.
"Hopefully, in the end, it'll be worth it for everybody. It'll speed everything up. Everybody can get home, get their commutes done as quick as they can," commuter Brad Trevino said.
"I'm not too happy about it. I'm gonna’ have to figure out what I'm gonna’ have to do as far as leaving earlier for work and what I'm gonna’ do for coming back in," said Lena Allen, who lives off U.S. 281.
The Texas Department of Transportation said the first road closure will begin 9 p.m. Sunday and will reopen 5 a.m. Monday.
The contractor will be doing what are called "rolling closures." Workers will block off 100 yards of a lane, directing traffic around. Then when they're done, they'll move the cones up another 100 yards, freeing up the section.
"Just be aware that we are gonna’ be out there and plan an extra three to five minutes through your commute through that region," said Josh Donat, with TxDOT.
Donat said the standard working hours will be in the evenings and early mornings, so daytime drivers should miss the action.
For major work, crews may have closures on weekends,
"Over the course of the next three years, expect overnight closures often, especially that Sunday through Thursday night. We will not allow the contractor to do closures on Friday nights at all in this area," Donat said.
TxDOT is also providing email alerts to notify commuters of upcoming closures. To add yourself to that list, click here.