Well, we still need roads.
That's why, with the appropriation of Proposition 1 money approved by Texas voters a year ago, we're working hard to build quality roads for folks to drive. In fact, three major projects have started (or are about to start) this fall. Here's a look:
Hwy 151 and I-410
This project is clearly the flagship project of our 2015 Prop 1 program, and we held a groundbreaking of the event earlier this month. The project is simple in its goal, but has a lot of moving parts.
The biggest item is the addition of direct connectors. We're not building all eight, but we are taking care of the connectors we need the most. That means the eastbound Hwy 151 to northbound I-410 traffic and the southbound I-410 to westbound Hwy 151 folks will be given their own ramps, easing the congestion along the frontage roads at this intersection as well as the back-up occurring along I-410 during the evening rush.
We are also adding some significant improvements to the way I-410 works between Hwy 151 and Ingram Road. The biggest change will be for folks headed southbound on I-410 looking to access the businesses at the corner of Hwy 151 and I-410. You know, where Target and Gander Mountain are at. Those folks will, when we're all done, exit before reaching Military - and follow a special ramp that will actually bridge over Military to get folks through to where they need to go. Entrance ramps along this corridor will blend into an added auxiliary lane so as to continue the flow of traffic on the main lanes.
On the northbound side folks will see some ramp adjustments to promote a stronger flow of traffic - particularly ahead of Culebra Road. For details, take a look at our schematic posted online.
Total project cost is $81.8 million and will take nearly three years to build.
I-10 at Old Fredericksburg Road
The next phase in the continual development of I-10 through northwest Bexar County adds a new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road, where the large Mr. W Fireworks stand now sits. In addition to the new overpass (which will effectively connect Old Fredericksburg Road with Buckskin Drive, by the way) we are converting the frontage roads between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Drive to one-way.
This conversion is a safety measure, eliminating two-way frontage roads in an area that's continually growing in order to reduce the chances of wrong-way drivers on the main lanes. Here's a look at what the whole thing will look like when we're done (please forgive the use of IH 10 in lieu of the correct I-10):
Total project cost is $31.1 million and will take a little more than two years to construct.
US Hwy 90
This project has been a long time in coming, and serves a major primary purpose: improve safety along this corridor in west San Antonio and Bexar County by converting the frontage roads to one-way. Most of the impact of this construction will occur around Hunt Lane and over Medio Creek.
In fact, we'll be adding an auxiliary lane to US 90 on the main lanes over Medio Creek, meaning we'll be doing a significant amount of bridge work there.
We're also constructing a west-to-east turnaround at Loop 1604. For a look at details of the project layout, take a look at the aerial overview posted online.
Total project cost for this job is $20.1 million and will take a little more than two years to finish.
The full story here is Texas voters gave the state a little more than $1.7 billion to use for transportation construction through Proposition 1 in 2014. The measure has accelerated dozens of projects state-wide and brought more than $147 million to the San Antonio region, and TxDOT engineers quickly began working with the Alamo Area MPO and other local agencies to find a way to best use that money to bring major improvements. This collaboration is continuing for future years, with a keen eye on projects needed for regional mobility. For fiscal year 2016, this means a great deal of work on I-10 east of San Antonio.
In the meantime, state and local leaders continue to seek more funding options to help us provide relief for Texas drivers and keep Texas moving. At least, until we finally see those flying cars show up - at which time we'll happily step aside and allow the FAA to take over.