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Monday, March 3

Overpasses on their way for Loop 1604

Despite the ridiculously cold temperatures this morning - San Antonio temps were lower than that of oft-frozen Rexburg, Idaho - a number of county officials joined folks from TxDOT, the city of San Antonio and from Williams Brothers Construction to mark the start of the expressway expansion of Loop 1604 on the northwest side of San Antonio.

State and local officials join in turning dirt, officially kicking off the Loop 1604 expansion project.
Williams Brothers will design and build the new, free, expressway lanes between Bandera and Culebra roads. This includes overpasses at Braun Road, New Guilbeau and Shaenfield Road. The work will take about two and a half years to complete and costs an estimated $82 million.

What's interesting is the funding involved - it's a fantastic blend of state, county and city funds, including money from the local Advanced Transportation District. The state funds come from a pot of $1.9 billion identified by the Texas Transportation Commission mid-2012 that came from a meltingpot of Texas Mobility Fund bond proceeds, anticipated federal funding and savings on projects that were underway at the time.

Here's the breakdown:
State funds (Categories 12 and 14) - $54,800,000
Local funds (ATD) - $27,200,000

Representative Jose Menendez, of the Texas House of Representatives, talked about the importance of cooperation between state and local officials - and the fact this project is a success story of such cooperation. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff was a large part of that cooperation, and ultimately oversaw development of the proposal that was accepted mid-2012 by the Texas Transportation Commission.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, at podium, addresses the cooperation between state and local officials that was critical to getting this work on the slate. Looking on are, from left, TxDOT District Engineer Mario Jorge, Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, Texas Rep. Jose Menendez, San Antonio City Councilman and MPO Chairman Ray Lopez, TxDOT Chief Planning and Project Officer Russell Zapalac.
Over the next several weeks, Williams Brothers crews will begin setting up the work zone. Heavy excavation and construction activities will begin mid-March, with the first focus being the construction of access roads - that is, converting Leslie Road to a frontage road.

Between now and the end of 2016 (when the work finishes), drivers in the area can expect typical delays associated with construction work. Major lane closures will be limited to nighttime closures where possible, and all closures will be posted a week in advance.

An option to add the Highway 151 intersection to the current project will kick in when the federal environmental studies finish up later this year. That intersection, if added to the contract, will finish fall 2017.