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.

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17 Aug 2011, 8:00am
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First Loop 1604 superstreet intersection opens tomorrow

LP 1604 superstreet signThe first of two superstreet intersections on Loop 1604 West is set to open Thursday morning in time for rush hour. Crews have been working this week to pave and complete the other finishing touches. The final work will be done tonight to convert the intersection to its new configuration.

Starting tomorrow morning, traffic coming from New Gilbeau will no longer be able to turn left onto Loop 1604 southbound. Instead, all traffic will turn right with those wishing to go southbound then taking the new turnaround about 1,500 feet downstream. Traffic headed southbound on 1604 will still be able to turn left onto New Gilbeau.

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27 Aug 2010, 9:58am
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Eckhert, Braun improvements on tap this weekend

As discussed previously, a second right-turn lane is being added to Eckhert at Bandera.  That work should be completed this weekend.

Also, the new westbound lane on Braun at Loop 1604 will also be striped and opened in time for Monday’s commute.

Loop 1604/Braun update

Future new westbound lane

Future new westbound lane

A couple of weeks ago, TxDOT completed the restriping of Loop 1604 to three lanes in each direction at Braun Rd.  This seemingly minor change has had a fairly dramatic effect on traffic.  From my own observations, typical peak period traffic jams in both directions have been significantly reduced.  For instance, southbound traffic used to back-up nearly to Bandera Road during the evening rush hour, a distance of a mile or so.  But now it typically backs-up only half of that distance or even less.  I’ll be interested to see how it looks when school gets back into session, but for now, the improvement seems to have eased things quite a bit.  If you drive through this area regularly, post a comment and let me know your observations.

TxDOT is also planning at least one other improvement at that intersection, that being an additional lane on westbound Braun.  more »

Loop 1604 “super-street” previewed

1604ss_thumbLate last month, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority held a public meeting to show plans for a super-street and other related improvements on Loop 1604 West.  (My vacation started immediately after the meeting, thus the reason I’m just now getting around to writing this.)  At this time, the plans include super-street intersections at New Guilbeau and at Shaenfield and ancillary improvements at Braun and at SH 151 (with work on the former now underway.)  Here are the details of those planned improvements.

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Loop 1604 “super-street” approved

Diagram of a typical super street intersection (KY DOT)

Diagram of a typical super street intersection (KY DOT)

Just yesterday, I mentioned that plans for a Loop 1604 super-street would be announced soon, and indeed the project was announced today at a Bexar County Commissioners Court meeting where the court approved kicking-in $900,000 of Advanced Transportation District funds to help pay for the $7.4 million project.  The remaining $6.5 million will come from federal stimulus funds.

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“Whoever put traffic lights on Loop 1604 needs to be punched”

The oft-maligned intersection of Loop 1604 at Braun Rd.

The oft-maligned 1604/Braun intersection

Well, once again, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here.  I’ve been working on what I think will be an exciting new addition to my website (stay tuned for more on that soon.)  However, as I was watching the Sunday morning political talk shows, my wife mentioned something that motivated me to write this post, which is one that I’ve been meaning to do for a while.  While Facebooking (can that really be a verb?), she came across a new Facebook group with the same title as this post.  After rolling my eyes (as I often do in these situations), I realized (also as I often do in these situations) that the creator of that group– and those who subscribe to the explicit as well as implicit sentiment of it– probably just doesn’t have the back-story to understand why things are the way they are and that my initial reaction made me just as guilty of jumping to conclusions as that person was.  Whoever created the group is obviously frustrated– they even say they’re “pissed off” at the “stupid” traffic lights, and I sympathize with their frustration.  But, as is often the case, there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and maybe if folks understood how things got to be as they are, they might be more forgiving.  This posting is an attempt at that.

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