SAN ANTONIO –
One thing we get a lot of questions about is Texas Loop 1604. Many viewers want to know about specific projects and plans for the future.
One viewer wanted to know whether there is a master plan for 1604.
“There is a lot of activity going on up on 1604, and that's why we're not surprised you’re getting a lot of questions about it,” said Hernan Rozemberg, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Many projects already in the works are intended to alleviate congestion.
“We have several turnaround projects going on along 1604 on the north side,” Rozemberg said. “On the bridges for Huebner, Rogers Ranch and Nacogdoches, we are hoping by the end of summer to have those done.”
Rozemberg said the turnaround at Bulverde Road is open and turnarounds at Northwest Military Highway will open in May.
Another big project is the new intersection at Bandera Road. TXDOT created displaced left turns to allow traffic to move through that intersection easier.
“Essentially, it gives the left turns going from Bandera Road in both directions to Loop 1604 their own turn lanes,” Rozemberg said. “They are taken off the main lanes while traffic goes through on Bandera.”
Rozemberg said this configuration is actually safer.
“Studies have shown that this type of configuration enhances safety. There are less crashes in intersections like this," he said.
A big project underway is at the intersection of Highway 281. The connector ramps in that intersection are part of the Highway 281 expansion project. Phase one from 1604 to Stone Oak Parkway is expected to be complete next year. Phase two from Stone Oak Parkway to the Comal County line is expected to be complete by 2023.
“On 281, from 1604 to Stone Oak, that is the most congested stretch of highway in the San Antonio Region and the 15th most congested in the entire state,” Rozemberg said. “So obviously, there is a need for that expansion project.”
TXDOT has also begun work on a stretch of Loop 1604 from Interstate 35 to Farm-to-Market Road 78. This affects the area near Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph. Work began this year on reconstructing the bridge at Pat Booker Road.
“There have been no frontage roads there so we are adding frontage roads,” Rozemberg said. “We are reconstructing the bridges over there to allow for expansion.”
TXDOT also has big plans for the future.
“We are going to be adding three lanes in each direction: two general purpose lanes and one HOV, or high occupancy vehicle lane, which essentially means you have to have at least two people riding in those lanes and it's also dedicated for buses,” Rozemberg said.
Rozemberg said the portion of that project from Bandera Road to Redland Road is funded, but the department is still working on funding the portion from Redland Road to I-35.
“All this activity is going on because we have a high population growth here in the area,” Rozemberg said. “We are just trying to keep up with that need.”