SAN ANTONIO – Some train tracks on the city’s West Side cause major traffic headaches everyday for drivers.
“The train stops here. It’s about 20 minutes, 30 minutes, even an hour,” said Adolf Ruiz, who has lived near the train tracks on Zarzamora Street and Frio City Road for 25 years.
Ruiz said the train delays hurt his commute.
“I might lose my job,” he said.
Even city officials said the train tie-ups affect public safety. City officials have been promising an overpass for year, and now they said it’s finally happening.
“It’s a badly needed improvement because of 35 trains a day going through there and stopping traffic, stopping emergency vehicles,” said David Macbeth of Public Works.
After nearly 10 years, an overpass is set to be built over the train tracks.
Macbeth said the city finally has the $35 million needed to fund the construction of an overpass.
“Project is moving along. It’s a very large and complex project. So it does take some time,” Macbeth said.
Here’s a look at the project’s timeline:
- Environmental impact study complete - End of 2024
- Acquire impacted properties - 2025
- Demolition of impacted properties- 2026
- Construction begins on overpass - Spring, Summer 2026
- Overpass completion- 2028
Right now environmental impact studies are going on and should be finished by the end of 2024.
Then the city will start buying and demolishing properties that might be impacted by the construction in 2025 and 2026.
City officials said that most of the construction alongside Zarzamora Street will affect businesses and not homes.
“There are some partial takes, I think, from some of the residential properties. I think there may be one residential property that is a whole take,” Macbeth said.
Oscar’s Taco House is one of the businesses that will be affected by the construction.
The owner, Alex Pruneda, doesn’t want to give up his restaurant that has become a West Side staple.
“My dad used to bring me here when I was two, three, four. Now, I bring my three-, four- or five-year old’s. And it’s like kind of a legacy for the city,” Pruneda said.
City officials are offering to relocate Pruneda’s business once construction begins.
“It’s a win-win situation for us. But I mean, are they going to do it?” Pruneda said.
Construction will likely begin in the spring or summer of 2026 and completed by 2028.