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Monday, January 6

TxDOT leaders announce $800MM in new projects

San Antonio drivers waste more than 40 million hours annually sitting in traffic on some regional roadways (that's collective, all 2 million-plus of us combined), and the Texas Department of Transportation, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit, city of San Antonio and Bexar County leaders today unveiled a plan to allocate more than $800 million to fund expansions of I-10, US 281 and Loop 1604.

“As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio continues to grow at a pace that is expected to see its population number more than 3 million people by 2040,” said Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton at an event today. “The collaborative infrastructure projects we’re announcing will help relieve congestion and keep San Antonio drivers and the region’s economy moving in a way that improves business, enhances the quality of life and decreases the number of hours lost sitting in traffic. We’re pleased to partner with these regional leaders as they continue to create a quality of life in this region that makes it such a desirable place to call home and do business.”

The projects include a variety of non-tolled and managed lanes, connectors and improvements to existing lanes. Managed lanes are basically lanes that allow toll-paying drivers, carpoolers and mass transit vehicles an additional transportation option when traveling. The toll associated with these lanes fluxuates based on traffic volume with the intent to maintain a constant flow of traffic above a determined rate of travel.

Specifically, the projects will entail:

·         I-10 – addition of one managed lane in each direction north of Loop 1604 and tolled connector ramps at the interchange at Loop 1604
·         US 281 – expansion from Loop 1604 north to Stone Oak Boulevard to a four-lane, non-tolled expressway (two main lanes in each direction with frontage roads) with two tolled managed lanes (one in each direction) and non-tolled connector ramps at the Loop 1604 interchange; and expansion from Stone Oak Boulevard to Bexar/Comal county line to a four-lane tolled expressway with frontage roads
·         Loop 1604 – expansion to a four-lane, non-tolled expressway (two lanes each direction with frontage roads) from SH 151 to US 90

“This is an important day for all San Antonio and Bexar County resident as these major projects will improve mobility for decades to come,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said today. “We are happy to partner with TxDOT and others to bring these critical projects to fruition."

Construction on all projects is expected to start by early 2015. Most of the work should wrap up by the end of the decade.

“This agreement represents a major breakthrough in alleviating traffic congestion throughout the region,” said Mayor Julian Castro, city of San Antonio. “With our population expected to grow by more than 1 million people over the next 25 years, we have to work together creatively to manage the growth.”