Road work on Loop 1604 at Blanco Road shakes up neighbors

Overnight ‘controlled blasts’ are part of major project, could last for weeks

Residents living near Loop 1604 and Blanco Road face growing pains amid more construction in the area.

SAN ANTONIO – Now that the next phase of the Loop 1604 construction project is underway, some neighbors report being jolted awake in the middle of the night by the road work. Crews are excavating and using controlled explosions to clear material at the Blanco Road intersection.

“Our experience was that the blasting was very alarming. We heard a very loud noise and then our house vibrated. The walls shook, the windows vibrated and the wood in the house creaked,” said David Black, who lives south of Loop 1604. “Since we are not experts, we weren’t really sure what to make of it and were concerned. The blasts were about 30 minutes to 1 hour apart, so there was no sleeping for us between 11:30 (p.m.) and 2:30 (a.m.) or so.”

The road work is part of a massive expansion of the highway from a four-lane highway to a 10-lane highway. Late Friday, TxDOT provided more specifics about the need to use controlled explosions for the work.

“Part of the improvements for the Loop 1604 North Expansion project includes the widening of main lanes through the existing rock wall between Blanco Road and Northwest Military Highway. The rock wall requires excavation to accommodate the construction of the additional lanes, ramp improvements and safety zones,” the agency told KSAT 12. “The excavation technique utilized on this project is a controlled method known as “rock fragmentation blasting”. Each blast is closely monitored in order to stay within the City of San Antonio Ordinance vibration and noise guidelines.”

The blasts are expected to continue over the next few months. The work is being doing overnight to minimize the impact on traffic.

People who live in the area can get updates on the project by subscribing for updates at www.Loop1604North.com.

TxDOT projects that once completed, the overall project will reduce travel times in the Loop 1604 corridor by 76%.

The periodic overnight closures of the intersection are scheduled from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week. The section of the project between Highway 281 and I-10 is expected to be completed in 2025.

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team 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.