SAN ANTONIO – City leaders say it's time to connect two heavily used roads with an interchange on the Northeast Side.
The longtime trouble spot at Harry Wurzbach Road and Austin Highway should be fixed by 2020, Capital Programs Manager Luis Maltos said.
Plans include significantly improving traffic flow and safety in the area. For years, those trying to maneuver from one street to the other often went through business parking lots.
"You have to take a lot more time, yes," driver Jennifer Fimple said.
A "single point urban interchange," or SPUI, will allow drivers to travel between the streets using four ramps that will come off and on Harry Wurzbach Road. The new intersection will be controlled by one overhead traffic signal.
The project is funded by a partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation, the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the city of San Antonio. It's currently in the preliminary design stages, according to Maltos.
Construction is expected to cost $21.4 million. It's planned to get underway by March 2019 and will take about 18 months to complete.
"I think it's a really good idea. It's a lot safer, a lot less traffic," driver Samantha Zendejas said. "That would be amazing."
Maltos agrees with drivers in the area that the project is long overdue.
"People that live in the area are often stuck in traffic, are often finding it difficult to access Austin Highway," Maltos said.
The SPUI coming to San Antonio will be the second in the state. Maltos said the innovative design is possible because there's no frontage roads on either Harry Wurzbach Road or Austin Highway.
Utilities in the area will also be upgraded during construction.