Final set of new on-ramps for Highway 281 near Loop 1604 expected to open in January

Some major construction projects are set to see progress in 2021

SAN ANTONIO – There are many things we wish to say good-bye to in 2020, but road construction is here to stay. It’s taken a bit of a break during the holiday period, but it will soon resume as the new year begins.

First, here’s some good news. Major progress is expected on the U.S. Highway 281 project in northern Bexar County. The final set of new on-ramps between Loop 1604 and Highway 281 are expected to open in January. And the region’s second set of HOV lanes, on Highway 281 between Stone Oak Parkway and Loop 1604, are projected to open later in the year. HOV lanes will continue northward to Borgfeld Road, those are anticipated for 2022.

While that project is making progress, another project in San Antonio will just be getting started. McCullough Avenue between Oblate Drive and Shannon Lee Street will be closed beginning Jan. 4 for several months. Crews will be repairing storm drains in the area as part of the Barbara Drive Phase II project to help reduce flooding in the area. That’s a part of the bond issue voters approved in 2017.

VIA says the project will cause a detour of its Route 5 bus for the next several months. The agency is making some service adjustments effective Jan. 11. It is increasing frequency on some routes to adjust for changing demand, to allow for better social distancing on board.

VIA is only seeing about 50% of the passenger load it had before the pandemic, but it’s maintaining 85% of its pre-COVID service capacity.

“The pre-COVID level presumed or operated under a non-social distancing environment,” Jeffrey Arndt, VIA President and CEO, told KSAT earlier this month. “And the social distancing has suddenly and effectively shrunk those buses to vans. We allow 16 passengers, so it’s become the capacity of a van.”

The changes include includes the Route 103 Primo Zarzamora and on the Route 552 Loop 410/W.W. White service.

Have questions about transportation or traffic? Let us know and your answer may be our next story. Find past answers on our traffic page.

Read more transportation reporting from KSAT:

Car crashes in San Antonio plummet during pandemic, data shows

Environmental concerns linger while trying to expand Loop 1604 to 10 lanes on North Side

KSAT Explains: What is the future of transportation in San Antonio?

About the Author

Samuel King anchors traffic during the afternoon and evening newscasts and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined KSAT 12 in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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