Long-awaited stretch of Loop 1604 opens on Northwest Side

Southbound lanes of Loop 1604 open between Bandera, Culebra roads

SAN ANTONIO – A five-mile stretch of southbound Loop 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads opened Saturday after weeks of construction.

While the northbound portion won't open for a couple more weeks, drivers are excited about their shortened commutes.

KSAT 12 on Thursday drove out to the newly completed portion of the state highway. GPS mapping said the yet-to-be-completed northbound route would take 26 minutes, while the new southbound segment would only take nine minutes.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Josh Donat said some drivers were growing weary of using the frontage roads, but the overall delay wasn't too bad.

"I see that, too. I drive it every morning," Donat said. "I was like, I know it's going to be tough, but when I ran the timer I was like, 'Oh, this isn't bad. (It) took me 12 minutes.'"

He said the three overpasses built along Loop 1604 are worth the wait and should cut travel time in half.

Chris Schapira, who lives along Loop 1604, said he remembers 45-minute waits. He said he wishes the state would have handled it differently.

"Well, trying to get to our neighborhood was pretty convoluted," Schapira said. "You don't know what you are (going to) get into once you make that left hand turn. But as soon as you make that left hand turn, you're in it."

The northbound lanes are expected to open mid-May.

Click here to visit the TxDOT San Antonio blog to keep up with the latest traffic projects.