SAN ANTONIO – Last updated May 11, 2022
Interstate 35 remains a major gateway on San Antonio’s Northeast Side. However, as the city continues to experience growth, drivers experience problems on the road.
According to TxDOT, more 200,000 drivers travel through I-35 each day. However, officials anticipate that will more than double within the next 20 years.
TxDOT officials have been working to address the problem over the last few years.
The I-35 Northeast Expansion Project is a $1.5 billion project that will stretch up to 20 miles along the busy corridor.
The overall goal is to improve safety and mobility, but also address the increase of traffic in the area.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in the parking lot of the Santikos Galaxy theater, Wednesday.
The area is referred to as the central phase of the project and work there is expected to begin this summer.
Over the course of construction, crews will create elevated lanes to reduce travel times. These lanes will be created between the main lanes and frontage roads.
HOV lanes will also be added for motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and vehicles with more than two passengers - such as carpools or buses.
The over all project will span three counties, from Bexar, Guadalupe, to Comal. The 20 miles will stretch from North Walters Street to FM 1103.
The NEX project will also include flyover ramps from Loop 1604 West and Loop 410 North.
TxDOT officials anticipate the project will take several years to complete.
Laura Lopez, a TxDOT spokeswoman, reminds drivers the project may be a headache at times, but it will offer relief down the road.
“This will help to reduce a lot of the congestion that we see now. People just don’t like construction, unfortunately. But in order for us to help the congestion that there is today, we need to build this project now,” Lopez said.
Gina Gallegos - TxDOT San Antonio District Engineer, said this will also help relieve congestion for drivers.
“We are looking at 50 percent reduction easily on their of travel times as the maneuver their way. through so please patient and please be aware of their surroundings,” she said.
There will be several lane closures over the course of construction, but the main lanes of I-35 should remain as is, according to TxDOT.
Work on the central phase of the I-35 NEX Project is expected to be completed by 2027.