Then vs. Now: Photos show the transformation of Loop 1604 through the years

Photos show vast differences from before and after major construction projects

Loop 1604 at Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252) looking SE. Circa 1983. (TXDOT)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio has steadily grown in population over the past few decades and the roadways have grown along with it.

One of San Antonio’s most commonly traveled streets is Texas State Highway Loop 1604, also known as the Charles W. Anderson Loop.

It started as a two-lane highway in the 1970s and has morphed and expanded to include four lanes in some areas, while other areas have remained untouched for years.

TxDOT has already broken ground on a project that will increase capacity on Loop 1604 on the North Side. The $1.3 billion project stretches 23 miles from Bandera Rd. to I-35, and will expand the highway from four to 10 lanes, plus add one HOV lane in each direction.

KSAT spoke with transportation enthusiast Brian Purcell, also known as the Texas Highway Man, who shared photos of Loop 1604 that he digitized for the Texas Department of Transportation in 2017.

“The one that really blows people’s minds is Culebra and 1604,” said Purcell. That image can be seen in the photos below, along with other photos Purcell has obtained through his research.

He has a Facebook page and a website dedicated to information on highways in Texas, with a special emphasis on his hometown — San Antonio.

“I was doing mostly cursory research for the 20 years up until about five years or so ago, when I really started to dedicate a lot more effort to it,” Purcell told KSAT.

The photos show vast differences from before and after major construction projects like The Forum at Olympia Parkway, which was built in 2000 and Rolling Oaks Mall, which opened in 1988.

Take a look back at some past images of major intersections along Loop 1604 and what they look like in recent years:

Loop 1604 and I-10 West

I-10W at Loop 1604 looking SW. Circa 1980. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 at I-10 in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and I-35 North

I-35N at Loop 1604 looking SW. Circa 1972. (San Antonio-Bexar County Urban Transportation Study)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and I-35N in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and Bulverde

Loop 1604 at Bulverde looking W. Circa 1990. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Road in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and Culebra Road

Loop 1604 at Culebra looking NW. Circa 1998. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and Culebra Road in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and Falcon Wolf

Loop 1604 at Falcon Wolf looking NW. Circa 1998. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Street View near Loop 1604 and Falcon Wolf in recent years. (Google Street View)

Loop 1604 and Nacogdoches Road

Loop 1604 at Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252) looking SE. Circa 1983. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and Nacogdoches Road in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and Pat Booker Road

Loop 1604 at Pat Booker looking NW. Circa 1972. (San Antonio-Bexar County Urban Transportation Study)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and Pat Booker Road in recent years. (Google Earth)

Loop 1604 and Redland

Loop 1604 at Redland looking W. Circa 1991. (TXDOT)
Screen capture from Google Earth of Loop 1604 and Redland in recent years. (Google Earth)

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.