Alamo Ranch Parkway intersection getting lots of criticism

The recent opening of the overpass from SH 151 to Alamo Ranch Parkway is drawing lots of fire from residents of the area claiming that the new design is dangerous. As if on cue, a tragic crash claimed the lives of three people at that intersection just four days after the overpass opened. However, it should be noted that the crash happened on the eastbound side of ARP prior to the overpass, not coming off of it, so the overpass played no direct role in the crash.

That said, the increase in traffic caused by the overpass is overwhelming the four-way stop at ARP and Westwood Loop. The county has a traffic signal under construction there that will surely ease many of the problems folks are complaining about once it goes into operation, currently expected by the end of January. The county planned to have it operational by the time the overpass opened, but the construction of the new Casa Blanca Theater there required them to change the design in order to accommodate the driveway from the theater. Unfortunately, there was a significant delay in getting the plans for that driveway from the developer, which delayed the signal project.

more »

29 Jun 2015, 11:18am
Construction and closures Roads Safety:
by

Comments Off on Ribbon cut on Fred-Med project

Ribbon cut on Fred-Med project

After nearly 20 years in the making, TxDOT, COSA, and South Texas Medical Center officials celebrated the completion of the Medical Drive underpass at Fredericksburg Road this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and opened the new lanes to traffic a short time later.

The nearly $15 million project was primarily done for safety, namely allowing ambulances quicker access to the Medical Center from I-10, bypassing the oft-congested Fredericksburg/Medical intersection.  As if on cue, the wailing siren from an emergency vehicle trying to navigate the intersection above interrupted the ceremony.  After the ribbon was cut, an ambulance and EMS squad truck were the first vehicles to “officially” use the underpass.

more »

19 Mar 2014, 4:47pm
Construction and closures Roads:
by

Comments Off on Loop 1604 West expansion continues

Loop 1604 West expansion continues

Loop 1604 meeting

TxDOT held an open house on March 18th to show their plans to improve Loop 1604 from Culebra south to Potranco.  That section of the loop is currently a four-lane divided highway with signalized intersections at SH 151, Wiseman, Military, and Potranco.  This project will upgrade that section of the loop to an expressway by adding overpasses at Wiseman, Military, and Potranco and building access roads and associated entrance and exit ramps.  The intersection of SH 151, although technically included within the project limits (mainly for signage purposes), would not see any actual changes with this project (more on that later.)  The $69 million project is set to begin in about a year and will take about 2 1/2 years to complete.

more »

19 Mar 2014, 1:07pm
Construction and closures Roads:
by

Comments Off on What’s going on at I-10 and DeZavala?

What’s going on at I-10 and DeZavala?

If you’ve traversed I-10 at DeZavala recently, you may have noticed that the center divider is being removed.  Many folks have noticed and I’ve gotten the question more than once asking why.  A few have even asserted that they’re ripping out brand new barrier that was just re-built recently.

First off, the barrier that’s being removed is not new.  Yes, there have been several sections of barrier that were re-built in that same project area recently, but all of that was south of the Fredericksburg/Woodstone area.  You can tell the new barrier because it’s still the raw, dark gray color.  The old barrier is tan, and that’s what’s being removed at DeZavala.

Now to answer the “why”.  I-10 is being widened in that area, and consequently the DeZavala overpass needs to be widened to carry those additional lanes.  But it turns-out that the overpass also needs to raised a few feet in the process.  This means that they’ll have to tear-down the old overpass.  In order to do that, traffic will need to be shifted from one side of the overpass to the other while half of the bridge is demolished and re-built.  Therefore, the divider is being removed to allow for that traffic switch as well as the fact that it will need to be removed anyway since the bridge it sits on is being replaced.

Loop 1604 project breaks ground

Loop 1604 groundbreaking

It was so cold that I could feel my brain starting to freeze, but yours truly was standing out in the median of Loop 1604 between Braun and New Guilbeau this morning to witness the groundbreaking of the long-awaited Loop 1604 expressway project.  This $82 million project will extend the existing toll-free expressway cross-section at Bandera Rd. south to Culebra by building overpasses at Braun, New Guilbeau, and Shaenfield and adding continuous access roads and associated entrance and exit ramps.  It is expected to take about 28 months or so to complete.

more »

Ballenger projects starting back up

After the bankruptcy of Ballenger Construction late last year, several TxDOT and COSA projects were lain dormant.  The good news is that their bonding company is nearing the end of the process to hire new contractors to get those projects finished.  Work should be starting next month again on the I-10 project (Ramsgate to Loop 1604) and the “bookends” of the Wurzbach Parkway project.  I’m not as familiar with the COSA projects, but I hear the Hunt Lane project should also have a new contractor by this time next month.

Loop 1604/SH 151 changes tomorrow

UPDATE (11/1/11) – The changeover has been postponed until Wednesday.

Just back from vacay and have some local news to report.  The final element of the package of improvements along Loop 1604 West that included two superstreet intersections will come online tomorrow.  Namely, the left turn from southbound 1604 to SH 151 will be eliminated.  Motorists wanting to go to SH 151 will now exit at a new exit ramp just south of Culebra, follow the access road, then cross 1604 at a perpendicular signalized intersection.  The existing entrance ramp from Culebra will be closed and replaced by an improved entrance ramp at the SH 151 intersection.  (For a schematic of these changes, see the link under “Additional information” below.)

Like the superstreet intersections, this change will most likely seem completely unintuitive for many folks.  After all, southbound Loop 1604 traffic will now have to stop to allow traffic to enter SH 151 whereas before they didn’t ever have to stop.  But this new arrangement will actually be safer overall and will help reduce congestion in the area.  more »

30 Sep 2011, 10:39am
Construction and closures Roads:
by

Comments Off on Ribbon cut on Loop 1604 project in NE San Antonio

Ribbon cut on Loop 1604 project in NE San Antonio

Local TxDOT officials joined with several dignitaries yesterday to cut the ribbon on a project that widened Loop 1604 near Randolph AFB.  The 17 month, $6.6 million project upgraded 2.5 miles of Loop 1604 from a two-lane “farm” road to a four-lane divided highway.  The project came in on-time and under budget.

Speakers at the ribbon-cutting included US Representative Henry Cuellar.  Cuellar helped secure the federal economic stimulus funding to get the project off the ground.

This section of the loop has been in the news recently.  A project to continue the expansion from its current terminus at Lower Seguin Road to I-10 is planned to start next year.  However, county officials had briefly considered transferring funding from that project to construct the northern set of ramps at US 281 and Loop 1604.  An alternative source of funding was found, however, thus allowing the widening project to continue as planned.

It’s worth noting that this expansion mirrors a similar expansion done on Loop 1604 West nearly two decades ago.  Road improvements tend to be incremental or evolutionary.  The road system San Antonio has today didn’t just drop out of the sky one day.  The project dedicated yesterday upgraded a congested and dangerous two-lane road to a four-lane divided highway with traffic signals.  This configuration is a substantial improvement over the previous road and is more than adequate for the current needs and for those in the foreseeable future, just as the expansion of Loop 1604 south of Braun Road was back in the ’90s.  Will traffic growth eventually render this roadway obsolete?   Maybe.  But building a full-fledged expressway at this location now is unnecessary and would have been an injudicious use of scarce funding, just like doing so out on Loop 1604 West back in the ’90s would have been.

11 Sep 2011, 11:14pm
Commuting Construction and closures Roads:
by

Comments Off on Worst traffic road conditions in Texas

Worst traffic road conditions in Texas

Worst traffic road conditions in Texas

Officials have released a list of the 100 worst traffic conditions in Texas.

Dallas motorists suffer the most highly congested road conditions in Texas, says a recent report from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The state’s top three bottlenecks are all located in Dallas County, according to the 100 Most Congested Roadway Segments in Texas. But while Dallas has the hottest spots, Harris County actually has more of them. The Houston area has 31 on the worst road conditions traffic list while Dallas has 21.

Road conditions for Fort Worth are next in line for headaches, with 15 tight spots, followed by San Antonio with 11 and Austin with 10.

Here are the top 10 most congested roads and their respective counties:

more »

31 Aug 2011, 9:35pm
Construction and closures Roads:
by

Comments Off on Final section of Wurzbach Parkway officially breaks ground

Final section of Wurzbach Parkway officially breaks ground

Wurzbach Pkwy groundbreaking

It’s been 30 years in the making.  Today, local officials gathered at Walker Ranch Park to officially break ground on the final section of the Wurzbach Parkway.  The segment, from West Ave. to Jones-Maltsberger, is actually already under construction, along with the two adjacent segments.  When they’re completed in 2014, the long-awaited east-west thoroughfare will finally be complete.

Speaking at today’s groundbreaking were the Wolffs (Nelson and Kevin), Lyle Larson, local TxDOT district engineer Mario Medina, and TxDOT’s new interim executive director John Barton.  Somewhat surprisingly, there was little media coverage of the event; only KABB and KTSA had stories on it.

For more information about the three current projects, see my site here:
Texas Highway Man – Wurzbach Parkway

Recent Posts

Linkroll