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Friday, January 27

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Seguin
  • Monday, January 30. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Hwy 46 and Business 123. The right lane will close while crews work on concrete barrier. 
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, February 20. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road on the westbound between Foster Road and FM 1516. Alternating lanes will close as needed while crews work on underground drain structures. This frontage road is a two-way frontage road and traffic control officers will direct traffic during these closures. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road and work on overhead highway signs. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on barrier. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will exit George Beach, turn around and enter southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Rittiman roads. The left lane will close while crews work on drainage. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Tuesday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Rittiman and Eisenhauer roads. The center and right lanes will close while electricians do overhead work. This closure includes the northbound entrance ramp from Eisenhauer Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp. 
I-35 – Downtown
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Theo Malone Avenue and Nogalitos Road. Alternating lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. This closure includes the ramp from eastbound U.S. Hwy 90 to northbound I-35. Traffic from U.S. 90 will continue east to the next intersection and turn around to reach northbound I-35. 
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to northbound I-35 and Randolph Boulevard. The right lane will close, including the ramp to Randolph Boulevard, while crews work on barrier. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks and turn around to reach Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound entrance ramp from Austin Highway. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio-
  • Current until April 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Current through Tuesday, January 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams. Traffic will use Richland Hills and Ingram or Potranco roads to reach its destination. 
U.S. Hwy 90 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current through February 28. Eastbound frontage road between Hunt Lane and Ray Ellison Boulevard. The left lane will close to allow for utility work. 
  • Sunday-Monday, January 29-30. Eastbound main lanes between Loop 1604 and Hunt Lane. All lanes will close while crews shift traffic lanes over. Traffic will exit I-410 and use the next available entrance ramp. 
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work. 
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Airport and Josephine. The two right lanes will close while crews work on guardrail. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews set bridge deck panels. This includes the exit ramp to I-410 and the entrance ramp from Ingram Road. Traffic along the frontage road will turn right onto Cable Ranch Road, left onto Vista West Drive and right onto the southbound frontage road of I-410 to turn around at Marbach, then continue to reach its destination. Traffic from the main lanes trying to reach I-410 will exit Callaghan Road, turn around and approach I-410 from the westbound side. 
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 9 p.m. until August 31. Westbound exit ramp to Hunt Lane. The exit will close while crews work on retaining walls. Traffic will exit Ingram Road and follow the frontage road to reach its destination. 
Loop 1604 – North San Antonio
  • Current through Tuesday, January 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes between Lookout Road and FM 2252. Alternating lanes will close while crews repair the roadway base. 
Other roads – Seguin
  • Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m. until Monday, February 6 at 5 a.m. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidmann. All lanes will close while crews set up the work area. Traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination. 
  • Monday, February 6 at 5 a.m. until August 31. Austin Street between Martindale and Seidman. The road will be converted to one-way only, moving southbound, while crews do road work. Northbound traffic will use Guadalupe Street to reach its destination. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 29-February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic officers, while crews work on bridge rail overhead. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Northbound Austin Hwy between Fratt Road and Interchange Parkway. The left lane will close while crews do road work. 
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 30-February 3. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Potranco Road, both directions, between Clover Creek and Dugas Drive. The left lane will close while crews do concrete work. 
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, January 25

Mail Bag: Lots of 1604 questions, 410-151, frontage roads and more

On Loop 1604 South between Wiseman and Potranco, there is only one left turn lane onto Wiseman heading east and Potranco heading east. Can you make the middle lane a left turn/ straight ahead option lane? There is a big backup on 1604 because there is only one left turn lane onto the these two streets.
- Jaime
The short answer to your question ... is no, we can't make that left through lane an optional left/through lane.
But we're not always about brevity here. We like to explain things, and you're here because you want to hear (ahem, read) what we have to say. Right?
The biggest reason for not going with the optional left-through lane (which do exist on Wiseman and on Potranco, by the way) is signal phasing. There's a whole manual for this (which you can read, if you want). These intersections are currently five-phase intersections, meaning the signals change five times each cycle. It works to maximize the flow of traffic in all directions. The five phases are:
  1. Southbound Lp 1604 (with left turn)
  2. Southbound and Northbound Lp 1604 (no left turns)
  3. Northbound Lp 1604 (with left turn)
  4. Eastbound Wiseman/Potranco (with left turns)
  5. Westbound Wiseman/Potranco (with left turns)
The cross streets have that optional left-turn lane ... the major street does not. That's by design! If we were to add the optional lanes to Loop 1604, we'd have some issues and you'd actually see greater delays. Here's why:
  1. Southbound Lp 1604 only
  2. Northbound Lp 1604 only
  3. Eastbound cross street
  4. Westbound cross street
By doing this you're lacking the major traffic movement with this arrangement - that extra phase of traffic where the through traffic is allowed to flow through the intersection. Sure, by just looking at things we'd only have four phases ... but that means you're looking at 20-30 fewer seconds given to that through traffic for each cycle. That traffic would instead simply stack up on queues on the main lanes, bogging down traffic on Lp 1604 even more.
That's why we don't do an optional left-turn lane on any location comparable to Loop 1604 here (think of Loop 337 in New Braunfels or Northwest Military at Wurzbach Parkway).
Here's the good news: you may have noticed we're working on the overpasses at Wiseman, NW Military and Potranco. It'll take some time to get to where those overpasses are in use, but they are your long-term solution. By the way, when we have those overpasses in we'll be able to employ your suggestion and move to a four-phase cycle (which is standard for expressway intersections).


One issue that seems to be ignored is the lack of a good connection for people leaving AR wanting to head north on 1604. The best way now is Wiseman, out the "back" of the area, although it is generally backed up at rush hour.
It appears to me that a simple clover, eastbound just pass the overpass, onto 1604 headed north, would solve the problem. There doesn't appear to be any right-of-way issue, when might this project be put in place?
- Richard
The issue wasn't ignored at all; the current strategy is to route traffic down to Wiseman like you're doing today. When the project was studied and designed the demand (and projected demand) for that move wasn't very high. Remember these plans go back over seven years, so a lot of what you're seeing now wasn't known of during those plans.
Once we were ready for construction, financial constraints kept us from adding more features to the project (and bridge work is really expensive).
The current option will improve dramatically when the overpass at Wiseman is constructed and, as you know, we're working on that now. When that's done (the project is set to wrap up in 2019) we'll take a new look at traffic movements to determine needed improvements in the future.


You posted some information on your blog sometime around October 2015 regarding a lane being eliminated on the frontage roads of the I-410 just north of TX-151 due to construction work. It said that work would be completed around 2017. I know there is still construction work going on around this area, however I would like to know if this lane elimination is still there or if it has been lifted. I have also pasted in the information that was shown on the blog. Thank You.
- Jay
Those frontage road lanes is still eliminated, and we're still working to fill the promise of having that lane reopened this year. That will happen when we've got the new ramps finished - a task on this project that's prioritized right now. The closures are designed to help crews widen the frontage roads and the main lanes, fitting them to new ramp configurations that are being pushed to be in place this summer (if all goes well).


Why is there no plan for an east bound exit for Boerne Stage Road? Everyone going to HEB or Walmart has to sit through the Ralph Fair stop light. I'm not surprised the bridge needed expansion but a lot of that was due to two streets worth of traffic forced to go through the same exit and light.
Could you please let me know why this is the plan?
- Reid
Right now it's really a matter of geometry. You're familiar with the area; you know the on-ramp from Ralph Fair Road (which gets more than its fair share of use) takes up most of the space between Ralph Fair Road and Leon Creek. Yes, there's a big gap between Ralph Fair Road and that on-ramp, but that's filled by the auxiliary lane allowing turnaround traffic to blend with traffic off the bridge - preventing us from moving that entrance ramp anywhere.
Those unfamiliar with what's going on out there can check out our schematic of the area here.
It's a tough situation, for sure - but not one that has been taken lightly by our folks at all. The situation will likely improve for you when we convert that frontage road between Old Fredericksburg Road and Ralph Fair Road to one-way; it'll open up some capacity along the frontage road and improve the signal operations a bunch.


We are new to the area and keep hearing rumors about SH 211 extending to Culebra. I saw something that there is a project out there that has been on and off for years. Is there anything in the future for this effort?
- Matthew
This is a discussion that's been had by the Alamo Area MPO, Bexar County and us quite a bit over the last several years. The effort is currently in the hands of Bexar County. They have information posted online here.


Bitters Road between Blanco and 281 is down to two lanes and it is a nightmare for traffic, particularly for parents and school buses who have to use Bitters to reach Hidden Forest Elementary. I have not seen any public notice about the scope of this project, although there has been intermittent resurfacing on parts of the road. What's going on right now and how long is it going to take?
- Haley
Haley wrote this in a few weeks ago. The work to which she referred was being done by the city of San Antonio.
Y'all, we know it can be confusing regarding who is in charge of what road. Heck, we get it wrong from time to time. A good rule of thumb: if it has an FM (Farm-to-Market) road designation, it's a TxDOT road. These designations feature the big white boxes with black numbers you'll see on the large green directional signs when you're running down the Interstate highways. If it doesn't have that designation, it's not ours.
If it's not ours and it's in the city limits, it belongs to the city of San Antonio. If it's beyond city limits, it goes to Bexar County Public Works.
It's tough to keep straight for us all, but we try to manage. We have cheat sheets that help, too!
All that said, the city had responded to others asking similar questions and should have had the issue resolved a while ago.


So since the new on ramp has opened on 1604 and Bandera headed west, I've seen many, many people leave the Stonefield Place street and interrupt traffic to get on the highway. The street is passed the entrance ramp so they have to drive up and cross over the 3 lanes to get on. I've seen people almost get hit several times in the last week alone. Any way something could be done to alleviate this?
- Leah
Don't let this be your commute. Be safe. Drive smart.
Unfortunately there aren't a lot of options to deal effectively with these very rude, very selfish, very dangerous drivers. And that's what they are - rude, selfish and dangerous. They are putting their own wants ahead of the safety of all of us on the road, aren't they?
Sadly, Leah, this is a driving behavior displayed all over the city. What's more, it's not even against the law (as Texas Highwayman points out) in Texas, though it is elsewhere. Here it's just an obnoxious lane change. Just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, though, and this sort of mentality has simply got to be eradicated. At this location specifically, going through that signal at Bandera only takes a few extra minutes and could extend life expectancy of they motorist by years. Decades, even. That's a heck of a return-on-investment!
We design and build the roads and include with our building a set of instructions (pavement markings, highway signs...). When those instructions are not followed, the results are almost always disastrous.
Update: Looking at this location a second time based on feedback from Texas Highwayman, we need to point out this movement is, in fact, an illegal movement. Coming out of Stonefield to get to the entrance ramp to northbound/eastbound Loop 1604 means crossing the "gore", which is absolutely illegal. And unsafe. And selfish. And reckless. And everything we mentioned above.
We can try to install some sort of barrier to stop this - like the Tuff Curb and delineator paddles we're planning to put in on Alamo Ranch Parkway near Westwood Loop, but this shouldn't be a necessary strategy.
Let us be clear: this reckless, dangerous, selfish, childish, rushed and illegal driving behavior exists all over San Antonio. We stripe the roadway to let folks know this is unacceptable, but are criticized because drivers completely ignore the striping. This leads to pressure to put up these positive barriers - which we can absolutely do, when needed - at a higher cost to you, the taxpayer, and at an absurd cost to repair, replace and maintain as we go. To see what we mean, take a look at US 281 north of Loop 1604, where we've installed these curbs and paddles to stop selfish and disrespectful drivers from doing the same thing up there. We've had to replace those paddles routinely, as drivers ignore them and figure the damage to their own car is minimal, so they simply drive over them.
Installing a small concrete curb isn't an option, either - those are only to be used on roads with posted practical speeds under 45 miles per hour. The frontage road here is now posted at 50, and drivers are often exceeding that posted limit.
This gets us to the point of actual solutions for you, Leah. Option one: tell your neighbors to stop being so dang selfish, rude, dangerous, reckless, careless and more. Option two: encourage your local law enforcement agencies to up the enforcement on this maneuver, writing tickets for those who do it.
In the interim, we'll pass along some comments on this issue to our engineers for a fix.


Any idea when construction to widen Loop 1604 from I-10 to FM 1346 might begin? Thanks!
- Todd
Right now that's included in our long-range wish list and is penciled in for the year 2020. To be honest, that mark will likely move - it's placed on the list for the year 2020 so it's considered and scored for prioritization. We are working on it, but at the moment we have other demands to fill.

Tuesday, January 24

This week's construction-related closures

So, somehow this didn't get posted on time. Apologies for that. Here's a look at what's happening this week:

I-10 – Seguin
  • Monday, January 23. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Hwy 46 and Business 123. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. 
  • Tuesday, January 24. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Westbound main lanes between Business 123 and Huber Road. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. 
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Current until Monday, February 20. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road on the westbound between Foster Road and FM 1516. Alternating lanes will close as needed while crews work on underground drain structures. This frontage road is a two-way frontage road and traffic control officers will direct traffic during these closures. 
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 23-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Fair Oaks Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road and work on overhead highway signs. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on barrier. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will exit George Beach, turn around and enter southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 23-27. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Rittiman roads. The left lane will close while crews work on drainage. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 23-27. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Tuesday-Friday, January 24-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound main lanes between Rittiman and Eisenhauer roads. The center and right lanes will close while electricians do overhead work. This closure includes the northbound entrance ramp from Eisenhauer Road. Traffic will use the next available ramp. 
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to northbound I-35 and Randolph Boulevard. The right lane will close, including the ramp to Randolph Boulevard, while crews work on barrier. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks and turn around to reach Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound entrance ramp from Austin Highway. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio-
  • Current until April 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Culebra Road and Military Drive. All lanes will close while crews do bridge work. Traffic will enter the southbound main lanes and exit Military Drive. 
  • Monday-Wednesday, January 23-25. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. The right two lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams. 
  • Thursday-Tuesday, January 26-31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. All lanes will close while crews set bridge support beams. Traffic will use Richland Hills and Ingram or Potranco roads to reach its destination. 
U.S. Hwy 90 – Downtown San Antonio
  • Current through May 1. Eastbound exit ramp to I-35. The ramp has been reduced to a single lane while crews do bridge repair work. 
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 24-27. 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 24-27. 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Airport and Josephine. The two right lanes will close while crews work on guardrail. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
  • Tuesday, January 25. 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Northbound main lanes between I-35 and Mulberry. The right lane will close while crews work on guardrail. Ramps will close as needed. Traffic will take the next available ramp. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, February 3. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews set bridge deck panels. This includes the exit ramp to I-410 and the entrance ramp from Ingram Road. Traffic along the frontage road will turn right onto Cable Ranch Road, left onto Vista West Drive and right onto the southbound frontage road of I-410 to turn around at Marbach, then continue to reach its destination. Traffic from the main lanes trying to reach I-410 will exit Callaghan Road, turn around and approach I-410 from the westbound side. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound exit to Ingram Road. The ramp will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit I-410 and follow the frontage road to reach its destination. 
Loop 1604 – North San Antonio
  • Monday, January 24-Tuesday, January 31. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Westbound main lanes between Lookout Road and FM 2252. Alternating lanes will close while crews repair the roadway base. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 22-27. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic officers, while crews work on bridge rail overhead. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 23-27. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Northbound Austin Hwy between Fratt Road and Interchange Parkway. The left lane will close while crews do road work. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 23-27. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound FM 78 between Wood Glen Drive and Gulf Shore Blvd. The right lane will close while crews work on curb and sidewalk. 
All closures are pending weather.

Wednesday, January 18

Mail Bag: Loop 1604, Bandera Rd, I-35, I-10, Hwy 46

So ... we recently re-discovered a number of questions that were sitting un-answered in our blog post drafts list for well over a month. Without any further ado, here are the answers.

Are there any plans on reducing congestion on 1604 around Bandera? There are just way too many vehicles during morning and evening commute times that make getting to or from I-10 a 30-plus minute ordeal.
- Rudy
In a word, yes. However, we're still quite a while away from getting to anything. The real traffic issues here are the ramp configurations at both ends. On one side you have some capacity issues amplified by the cloverleaf intersection. On the other you have traffic slowing and backing up onto the highway main lanes because the ramp is near the cross road.
First there's the issue of that intersection of Loop 1604 and I-10. This whole issue is being taken up by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which determines our strategic approach to transportation planning in the region, and the Alamo RMA (they're the lead agency on Loop 1604, actually).
At this point a lot of stuff is still up in the air, but we're estimating a cost of about $575 million to add two managed lanes in each direction between Bandera Road and US 281. Right now this is listed in our Project Tracker as something we'll get after early 2020 - but all that really means at this point is we've got it on our radar and we're working to make it happen, but it's currently unfunded.
The cloverleaf issue will partially be addressed with direct connectors running from managed lanes of Loop 1604 to managed lanes on I-10. the current $85 million project on our list addresses traffic outside Loop 1604 but won't help those headed from, say, Bandera Road to the USAA complex.
Again, right now we're still in the planning stages of all this, working out configurations and funding sources and all sorts of stuff. But it is on our radar!
As for that evening commute headed through Bandera ... that's a solve we're looking into as a part of potential stop-gap measures between now and the managed lanes projects. For that westbound movement to Bandera, a simple ramp reversal project - where we swap the entrance and exit ramps between Hausman and Bandera roads - could work wonders. This is something we're just looking into as a possibility to do in the nearer term, and we do not have details yet.
We do not yet have schematics or drawings for any of these jobs we're ready to make public.

What is the status of the re-do of the environmental survey required for expanding 1604 from I-35 to Bandera Rd? When can we expect to see this much needed project get started. I have a one hour commute home daily from Stone Oak to the Fair Oaks area, with most of the congestion on 1604 west bound.
- Peter
Simply put, the environmental survey is on hold at the moment. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority is the lead agency on this, and they are waiting to identify a viable finance plan (see above) before they invest again in the environmental documents process.

I noticed construction going on at I-35/North New Braunfels. Are there plans to widen the North New Braunfels bridge over I-35?
- William
We're not just widening the bridge, William, we're totally replacing it. A major closure of I-35 a couple of weeks ago really got this kicked off. Right now we've got one lane of traffic in each direction on the bridge while crews replace the first half; we'll go into a second phase in a few months where we'll swap traffic over and finish the job. Bottom line: we'll be wrapping up this project by early 2018.
By the way, the new bridge will look a lot fancier. It's designed to look more like the Walters bridge, which should improve the aesthetics of the area.

When will construction begin on the north overpasses (connectors) of 1604 and 281?.
- Jose
This year! We're working to plan our ground-breaking ceremony (spoiler: the governor will come down for this!) in the early spring. We're receiving bids in February and should be underway around the end of the school year.
This project includes the expansion of US 281 between Loop 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway.

I noticed construction zone signage in place on State Hwy 46 just east of the Boerne city limits. What type of project is planned?
- Mark
A project that's not in San Antonio? You don't say! We have a lot of projects out of the metro area, and this is one of them. It's a pretty up-front job out there; we're adding passing lanes at strategic locations between Boerne city limits and the Kendall-Comal county line. This is a project we just got going with and we still have plenty to go; expect to see completion in 2018.

I've read about the zipper merge and how some states are 'retraining' their drivers to use it. I think TxDOT should do a retraining campaign. This is great info and more people need to see it. I, too, thought it was rude to go to the front of the line. But it's a good thing.
- Carolyn
We're working on one! You've likely seen our post on the zipper merge already. Share it with friends! We are working with our friends in Austin to begin state-wide awareness campaigns. The zipper works!

Question: Are you really not going to make I-10 a three-lane road each way? This is ridiculous or just job preservation (built-in functional obsolescence). You have everything set-up to make it a three-lane road, but won't. Why? It's going to cost so much more to do it in two or three years. I don't expect you to respond, but I just had to mention this.
- John
Our notes remind us, John, you're talking about the I-10 work between Ralph Fair Road and Fair Oaks Parkway that's going right now. That project adds an overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road and converts the frontage roads to one-way.
No, we're not adding any lanes. Really, really.
Why not? A couple of reasons. First, money. We simply don't have it in the budget at the moment. We also don't have the environmental clearance to do that yet.
Now, we do have clearance to add lanes (making a total of four in each way) between La Cantera Parkway and Ralph Fair Road. That's set to start later this year (likely mid- to late-summer).

Friday, January 13

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – Seguin
  • Monday, January 16. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Hwy 46 and Business 123. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. 
  • Tuesday, January 17. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Westbound main lanes between Business 123 and the Huber Road overpass. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. 
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, January 17-18. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound main lanes between US 90 and FM 465. The right lane will close while crews repair signs. This closure includes the ramps to US 90 and FM 725, as needed. Traffic will take the next available ramp and turn around. 
I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Monday, January 16 until Monday, February 20. 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Frontage road on the westbound between Foster Road and FM 1516. Alternating lanes will close as needed while crews work on underground drain structures. This frontage road is a two-way frontage road and traffic control officers will direct traffic during these closures. 
I-10 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Friday, January 17-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Fair Oaks Parkway. Alternating lanes will close while crews move barrier. 
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Tuesday, January 17. 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Southbound main lanes at York Creek. The left lane will close while crews work on guardrail. 
  • Wednesday, January 18. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Northbound main lanes at York Creek. The left lane will close while crews work on guardrail. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road and work on overhead highway signs. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on barrier. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will exit George Beach, turn around and enter southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Rittiman roads. The left lane will close while crews work on drainage. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to northbound I-35 and Randolph Boulevard. The right lane will close, including the ramp to Randolph Boulevard, while crews work on barrier. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks and turn around to reach Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound entrance ramp from Austin Highway. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Northbound frontage road between US 90 and Marbach Road. The right lane will close while crews set barrier. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. The right two lanes will close while crews set bridge beams. 
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 16-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Airport and Josephine. The two right lanes will close while crews work on guardrail. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until Friday, January 20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound frontage road between Ingram Road and I-410. All lanes will close while crews set bridge deck panels. This includes the exit ramp to I-410 and the entrance ramp from Ingram Road. Traffic along the frontage road will turn right onto Cable Ranch Road, left onto Vista West Drive and right onto the southbound frontage road of I-410 to turn around at Marbach, then continue to reach its destination. Traffic from the main lanes trying to reach I-410 will exit Callaghan Road, turn around and approach I-410 from the westbound side. 
  • Saturday, January 14 at 4 a.m. until Sunday, January 15 at 7 p.m. Eastbound main lanes between Westwood Loop and Wiseman Boulevard. Alternating lanes will close as crews lay asphalt. This closure includes the entrance ramps from Loop 1604. Traffic will continue along the eastbound frontage road through Wiseman Boulevard and use the next available ramp to reach its destination. 
  • Wednesday, January 18. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, between Wiseman Boulevard and Westwood Loop. Alternating lanes will close while crews stripe the roadway. 
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday, January 14 at 4 a.m. until Sunday, January 15 at 7 p.m. Southbound connector ramp to eastbound Hwy 151. The direct connector will close while crews lay asphalt. Traffic will turn around at Wiseman Boulevard and use northbound Loop 1604 to reach eastbound Hwy 151. 
Other roads – Seguin
  • Wednesday, January 18. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. FM 78 (New Braunfels Avenue), both directions, at I-10. All lanes will close while crews set bridge beams overhead. Traffic will use Hwy 46 to reach its destination. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 15-20. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic officers, while crews work on bridge rail overhead. 
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, January 12

Strategy for the ARP/WWL intersection

A few weeks ago we addressed the several emails, calls and other contacts received regarding the new Hwy 151 overpass at Loop 1604 as well as the intersection of Alamo Ranch Parkway and Westwood Loop. We left that response with a promise to follow up with our planned strategy; that's what this is about.
Again, if you're in the Alamo Ranch area and have had concerns about this intersection, please share this post. We're aware of the use of the NextDoor app and Facebook that happens out there. This would be a great post to share on those or other similar sites.
We fielded a number of suggested solutions for this area. Some of those were really quite good ideas and helped tremendously. Some suggestions were less constructive. We won't address those less constructive ideas, though Texas Highwayman did in one of his posts. He's also got great information on the background of this work and the overall hullabaloo surrounding this intersection.
What we will address, for the sake of brevity, is what we're going to do and why we landed on that solution. Here goes.

Lane alignment, eastbound ARP to eastbound Hwy 151
We had some issues with the two-lane ramp from Alamo Ranch Parkway onto eastbound Hwy 151 involving unclear lane markings. Initially we had two lanes of ARP through Westwood Loop, which tapered down to one lane between that ramp to Hwy 151 and the access road of southbound Loop 1604.
Well, we've already fixed this. If you're in the left lane of ARP through that Westwood intersection you're in a left-only lane. If you're in that right lane, you'll have the option to enter Hwy 151 or continue on to Loop 1604. Again, that striping is already in place. That doesn't help the advanced warning issue, which folks will no doubt raise. Bexar County Public Works is solving that by adding "shields" to the roadway as you approach the Westwood Loop intersection, which should help drivers get in the appropriate lane.

The ARP-WWL intersection itself
Our friends with Bexar County Public Works are already working on the traffic signal at this intersection, and it should be operational by early February.
Why not have the signals ready when we opened the overpass? It's a common question, and deserves a straight answer.
Initially we were planning to have the signal in place for the opening of the overpass. However, private development in the area (ahem, Santikos) caused some issues with the county's design of the intersection. Because of ensuing delays the county turned focus on a signal at the intersection of Shaenfield Road and Wildhorse Parkway. Meanwhile, we weren't able to simply halt our project while issues with the signal plans were figured out.
At any rate, our work progressed while the county worked out issues with the signal. Things actually worked out pretty well and the timing ended up lining up nearly perfectly. The all-way stop that's existed for years will be replaced with a fully signalized intersection within about 8 weeks of the overpass opening.
This work includes some resurfacing of the road, and Bexar County crews will control signal timing and work out traffic alignments at the intersection.

Westbound Hwy 151 into the ARP-WWL intersection
This is, perhaps, one of the largest frustrations for folks using the new roadway and intersection. There are several issues to address here, so we'll try to take them one at a time.
First, the approach to the ARP-WWL intersection itself. This has been a mess as folks ignore pavement markings to drive pretty much wherever they feel to drive. We have several drivers jumping over three lanes without much warning to get where they want. This happens particularly as those coming off Hwy 151 want to turn right onto WWL or those coming off the Loop 1604 frontage road are turning left toward the theater. Confusing? Yeah, it's because this is not supposed to happen. Yet folks are doing it anyway. Frustrating for us, for sure, and unnecessarily dangerous for others.
We already revamped the pavement markings, painting solid lines to tell folks they're not supposed to change lanes. Since that's not apparently getting it done, we're going to add Tuff Curbs with delineator paddles to keep cars from turning the intersection into a free-for-all in the future.
As for that whole left-turn only lane ... it's not going away. We're working on some advanced notice system, but we have to take care to not interfere with the lane that goes to the ramp connecting to the southbound frontage road of Loop 1604. We don't have room to make that left-only lane an optional left-turn lane; that would mean three lanes pushing through Westwood Loop and onto Alamo Ranch Parkway. ARP only has two lanes, and isn't going to get that third lane any time soon. Even adding a 1,500-foot stretch of a third lane isn't practical; it's more safe to have that traffic merging before the intersection than after.
The good news: once the signal is functional the pain of that stop sign will dissipate significantly.

Overall connectivity
We're finding a number of people are having a tough time finding a way to get where they're going as Hwy 151 reaches Loop 1604 and turns into Alamo Ranch Parkway. We have our traffic engineers looking to evaluate our wayfinding signs (those big green ones that tell you how to get where you're going). That should help some realize getting to Culebra is easier if you go the "old" way. Some things we simply can't sign, though.
For instance, if you're coming from Culebra Road or Loop 1604 and you want to get to the theater, do not use Alamo Ranch Parkway. Santikos has a driveway on the southbound frontage road of Loop 1604 just after ARP. Use that!
If you're planning a stop at Target or Lowes on your way home via Hwy 151, go to Culebra Road and Loop 1604 and turn around. It'll actually be a ton faster (not to mention safer) for you.
Headed to Wal-Mart from Hwy 151? Get on northbound Loop 1604, turn around at Shaenfield and you'll have an easy run to Wal-Mart.
If you're going to Kallison Ranch and that area along FM 471, why not bypass that Culebra traffic? You can continue straight on Alamo Ranch Parkway all the way to Roft Road or Alamo Parkway. Alamo Parkway has a signal that will help you get that left turn onto FM 471 and you'll be safely on your way.
And don't forget you can reach HEB by simply exiting for northbound Loop 1604 and keeping to the right. Pretty simple drive, really.

Is the intersection safe?
The answer to this question is, unequivocally, yes! The county has had stop signs at this location for years. It's been an all-way stop for years. Folks driving the road know it's an all-way stop.
Some have pointed at a tragic crash the week before Christmas as evidence the intersection is unsafe. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office has yet to release its findings on this crash, but we can confidently say the condition of the intersection and the construction situation had absolutely no contribution to the cause of that crash. It's just that simple.
The intersection is as safe as the drivers using it - which is the best that can be said of literally every road on the entire planet. We remain confident in that.

The future of ARP
Will we ever see an overpass at this intersection? Great question - one we don't have an answer for ... and we won't have one until ARP is fully developed, which could take several years to accomplish and is mostly in the hands of private developers who continue to build up the Alamo Ranch area.

Wednesday, January 11

I-10 at Amanda Street: this one slipped by us

Tonight - yes, tonight - crews will start setting up traffic control for a one-year project to replace bridge support abutments under the Amanda Street overpass on I-10.
Not sure how this one slipped by us, but it did. It's a small-potatoes project in terms of size, scope and duration ... yet still has a pretty big impact on daily drivers. First, what we're doing. Then the impact.

What is TxDOT doing?
We've found an issue that needs resolved pretty immediately. Recent bridge inspections showed the start of a failure in the abutments under the I-10 bridge over Amanda Street. An abutment is a lot like a shelf and is often attached to a large retaining wall and is anchored by bridge support columns sunk deep into the ground. On the Amanda Street overpass, these abutments are showing some wear and, before the wear becomes a problem, we're planning to replace these supports. We are not replacing the bridge deck, so this work will all happen without any bridge demolition.
In order to do that, though, we'll be shifting traffic around on the bridge deck itself to create some work space for our crews. The first phase will be crews working to shore up some of the shoulder area to handle highway traffic. With that done, we'll get to work on the abutment under the edges of the bridge deck, shifting traffic when we're ready to transition from one edge of the bridge to the other.

What will the impact be?
Right off the get-go we'll have the I-10 main lanes trimmed to just two lanes each way (there's three each way normally) over Amanda Street. We will be this way until early 2018. This starts tonight.
We'll also have Amanda Street closed under I-10 for the duration of this project. The detour will be Roland Avenue, J Street, Clark Avenue and Yucca Street. It's a bit round-about, but it'll get you where you need to go.
Though this won't happen for a few weeks, we will at one point also shut down two entrance ramps. The westbound ramp from MLK will close and the eastbound ramp from Roland will close simultaneously for a few months when we work on the outer edge of the bridge. This is because of the taper of the closure necking the main lanes from three lanes to two; we simply couldn't do the taper while safely maintaining these ramps. This will happen twice; the first time will be in February and will last a few weeks. The second will happen in March and will last about six months.
The bottom line: this will be a regular impact to morning and evening commutes on the east side of town, but it will be short-lived. This project is set to be finished by early 2018.

Other details for the intellectually curious
For the record:

  • Contractor is J3, a relative newcomer to TxDOT work
  • Construction costs are about $2.7 million
  • Project starts this week
  • Project wraps up early 2018 - about a one-year project duration
In doing this repair we're using a z-piling method to brace the bridge while we reconstruct the abutments. With corrugated sheet metal in place to provide stability, we'll be able to actually reconstruct the bridge's foundation without taking the bridge out of service. Here's an animation that shows the whole construction process:
When we're done we'll have a bridge ready for use for another full generation and more - one that will look quite a bit younger, too.

Monday, January 9

Mail Bag: Loop 1604 between Wiseman and US 90; No trucks in left lane; lane-splitting

Your photo/drawing of the bridge construction at Fair Oaks Parkway:
You show the existing westbound exit to FOP being obliterated, but I didn't see any replacement for it. Where will it be, or will we have to exit clear back at Ralph Fair? Also, it would have been helpful if the westbound turnaround to I-10 east had been done before the bridge to minimize the delays caused by westbound turnaround traffic to I-10 east.
- Al
Al, you wrote us twice and we sincerely apologize for taking this long to respond here. To answer your question, take a look again at the schematic we've got for all the work going on out there. You'll see on the westbound side the exit to FOP immediately after the new overpass at Old Fredericksburg Road. You'll also see the new on-ramp located just across the highway from the new westbound exit.
As for the construction timeline ... the work at the Fair Oaks Parkway bridge is concurrent with that along the frontage roads. We're actually doing what you're suggesting (thanks to input during the open house meetings held on these jobs). We won't convert the frontage roads between Ralph Fair and Old Fred to one-way until the overpass at Old Fred is finished with a functional intersection in place at that location. Similarly, we're holding off on converting the frontage road between Old Fred and Fair Oaks as long as we can and should be able to time it right with the completion of the turnaround bridge (at the least), if not the full bridge.
Hope that helps!

For those that live right outside of Loop 1604 on the west side north of U.S. 90, I would like to set a formal complaint.
The road to 90 every morning is beyond dispicable, and the intersection at 1604 and Potranco is unneccesseraly backed up, some times to the light at Emory Peak. I understand Potranco is getting work done, but nothing is being done to alleviate the looooong lines for the current residents have to deal with on a daily basis. Its not worth the 6 min drive to HEB because it ends up taking 20 min one way, and the even longer because Potranco traffic moves even slower. What are you, or can you be doing to eleviate our strife?
- Mark
Mark, it seems you've got a few different issues going on, so we'll try to address them each one-at-a-time. We'll start with the work on Potranco itself - which is work administered by Bexar County Public Works. We've kept in touch with them and they're doing a heck of a job at maintaining access and traffic flow through that corridor.
Seems you're getting traffic back-up on northbound and southbound Loop 1604 as you're commuting to and from work. While the road condition is far from despicable, the traffic volumes are certainly indicative of the explosive growth in residential development out where you're living. Three years ago county officials anecdotally discussed that region of Bexar County reaching population levels on par with the Waco metro area sometime in the next decade, so brace yourself for that.
How are we addressing the issue? We did just start a pair of expansion projects along Loop 1604, running from Hwy 151 through US Hwy 90. The one that will help you the most will wrap up by 2020 and features a direct connector from southbound Loop 1604 to eastbound US 90. Yes, that's a long time to wait before we're finished - building a road is a lot like recarpeting your house without removing furniture and maintaining complete use of the house. It's hard! We're doing what we can, though, and should have some incremental helps come for you along the way.

Why was the Wiseman exit from Loop 1604 towards Hwy 151 eliminated? Many neighborhoods utilize that exit as well as being an exit for the Christus Santa Rosa Westover Hills Hospital. Workers at the Wells Fargo Call Center and anyone working or attending Northwest Vista College would also use this exit. Now it is very inconvenient to reach these places coming from 1604.
- Vanessa
Great questions, Vanessa.
Traffic headed to the hospital can (and should) use the exit to Westover Hills - using the Wiseman exit would have taken you through a signal and created undue delays in an emergency situation. That traffic movement getting onto Hwy 151 and exiting for the hospital has been left as convenient as ever (if not more so).
Those heading to Wells Fargo or Northwest Vista will need to do so by heading to Wiseman on Loop 1604. We've timed this, and the change isn't really all that radical. The added distance from pre-construction conditions is about two miles and, at typical speeds, should add no more than about five extra minutes.
We'll point out, though, this route is considerably more safe and no longer requires drivers to slow down abruptly and cross competing lanes of traffic to reach the Wells Fargo campus, as so many were doing before we started construction.
As to your question about why an exit was eliminated? The Texas Highwayman addresses this better than we could, so we'll refer you to his comments on the matter.

Why is the speed limit on Loop 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads 60 MPH while the north section of 1604 is set at 70 MPH? I figured once the construction of this section of 1604 was complete (thanks btw!) that the speed limit would be changed. But it hasn't. What is the reasoning behind this?
- Carol
First off, you're welcome!
The change is still coming. We asked our traffic operations engineer for a date, and his reply was "Soon".
The change requires a minute order through the Texas Transportation Commission, then is placed on a work order list. We're expediting the process as much as we can, but it does take a bit of time. We're encouraged by the "soon" response, though; he's usually right on point with items like this.

Hello! I follow the Go Ahead! San Antonio blog for all the road updates and I must say, it's really great! I have a question for you: do you think we'll ever see any sort of legislation regarding lane splitting, filtering, and sharing for motorcycles? If you live in San Antonio, you've probably noticed that in some areas, traffic has gotten bad! I won't lie to you, I often lane-split heading into town via I-10, and while the reactions of drivers can often be mixed, most are usually accepting, and some even make extra room. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and maybe even reactions if you discuss on your blog. Thanks in advance!
- Nicholas
Thanks for following us! And thanks for the question - though we're sure you're not going to like what we have to say very much. It's a great topic to cover, though, and we might take this up on a bigger post later.
First of all, as a state agency we cannot advocate for or against any legislative measure. We want to be clear anything we say here is not intended to endorse any side of any legislation.
Information regarding the legality of lane-splitting in Texas is available at this legal blog (link does not imply endorsement of the law firm).
The super-short version: lane-splitting is not legal in the state of Texas right now. A measure was introduced during the 2015 Texas Legislative Session that would have added provisions to allow the practice, but the measure didn't get a vote on the floor. No word on whether such a measure will be introduced during this session.
As for our take? Any time you're breaking that lane and creating a potential conflict point, you've got a dangerous situation on your hands. Frustrating the issue are riders like this, who opt to lane-split at ridiculously high  rates of speed.
We're working hard with motorcycle advocacy groups to improve safety for motorcyclists state-wide, particularly with our Look Twice campaign. We'll spare you the gory statistics right now, but more than 10 percent of highway fatalities in our state were motorcyclists in 2015. That's more than a bit disproportionate, and creating a situation where a motorcycle can suddenly come from out of "nowhere" by lane-splitting only serves to hinder those driving in big ol' cages from seeing you when you're out there.
Our thoughts: lane-splitting, as it's done typically, is not a safe practice on our highways. We'll dig deeper into the situation for you, though, and see if we can come up with something more concrete than a "we don't like it" answer for you in the future. Deal?

Are commercial buses considered "trucks", in reference to "NO TRUCKS LEFT LANE"? I was under the impression that it was three axles or greater, which would include the aforementioned buses. I see many of the trans-national buses travel (often-times for miles) in the left lane of I-35 between Austin and San Antonio.
- Mark
Before we get into the weeds of what constitutes a "truck", we'll point out that, state-wide, the left lane is for passing only and those who impede traffic by cruising in the left lane are subject to a $200 fine. That's right, you can get a ticket for going too slow.
Our counterparts in our communication division have used the three-axle rule when discussing these signs before, but these are described with trucks - and the state's transportation code has a specific description for buses as well.
We're not attorneys here, so we'll have to dig deeper. As we've promised Nicholas, we'll put a pin in this for a larger post in the future.

Friday, January 6

Next week's construction-related closures

I-10 – East San Antonio
  • Thursday-Friday, January 12-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Westbound main lanes between Foster Road and Martinez Creek. Alternating lanes will close while crews remove overhead highway signs.
I-35 – New Braunfels
  • Wednesday-Thursday, January 11-12. 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Southbound main lanes at the York Creek Bridge. The right lane will close while crews repair bridge rail. 
I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road and work on overhead highway signs. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on barrier. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will exit George Beach, turn around and enter southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 9-13. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Rittiman roads. The left lane will close while crews work on drainage. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 9-13. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. until Saturday, January 7 at 4:30 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at New Braunfels Avenue. All lanes will close while crews demolish a portion of the New Braunfels Avenue Bridge. Traffic will exit New Braunfels Avenue, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway. 
  • Sunday, January 8 at 12:01 a.m. until Monday, January 9 at 5:30 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, at New Braunfels Avenue. All lanes will close while crews demolish a portion of the New Braunfels Avenue Bridge. Traffic will exit New Braunfels Avenue, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway. 
Please note the highway will not be closed Saturday night, beginning at 4:30 p.m., to accommodate traffic for the San Antonio Spurs game. 

I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to northbound I-35 and Randolph Boulevard. The right lane will close, including the ramp to Randolph Boulevard, while crews work on barrier. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks and turn around to reach Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. 
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound entrance ramp from Austin Highway. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Monday-Tuesday, January 9-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete. 
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Monday-Thursday, January 9-12. 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between loop 1604 and Hunt Lane. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. This closure includes the entrance ramp from Loop 1604. Traffic will continue along the eastbound frontage road and enter the main lanes prior to I-410. 
  • Wednesday-Thursday, January 11-12. 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. Westbound main lanes between Pue Road and Loop 1604. The left lane will close while crews place barrier. 
U.S. Hwy 281 – North-central San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 9-13. 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Main lanes, both directions, between I-35 and I-410. The two right lanes will close while crews do concrete work. This includes ramps as needed. Traffic will follow posted detours. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday, January 7. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Eastbound entrance ramp from northbound Loop 1604. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the frontage road through Wiseman Boulevard and use the next available ramp. 
  • Monday-Tuesday, January 9-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Westbound main lanes between I-410 and Ingram Road. All lanes will close while crews do overhead bridge work. Traffic will exit I-410 and travel the frontage road and use the next available entrance ramp. 
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, January 10-11. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Westbound frontage road between I-410 and Ingram Road. All lanes will close while crews pour bridge deck overhead. Traffic will use West Military Drive to Potranco Road to reach its destination. This detour will be posted. 
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Sunday-Tuesday, January 8-10. 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound main lanes between Red Musket and US Hwy 90. The right lane will close while crews set barrier. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 9-13. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Buffalo Wild Wings and the entrance ramp to the southbound main lanes. Alternating lanes will close while crews lay asphalt. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Sunday-Friday, January 8-13. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic officers, while crews work on bridge rail overhead. 
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Monday-Tuesday, January 9-10. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. West Military Drive, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete overhead. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road and turn around at the next intersection to reach its destination. 
All closures are pending weather.

Thursday, January 5

Cold temps = no asphalt work this weekend

By now you've probably heard or seen our closures set for this weekend. If not, check this out and come back to this post.

So Mother Nature is throwing a wrench in the works on us. In order to lay asphalt - like, final surface asphalt - we need to have our temperatures above 50 degrees (actually, for the type of asphalt we were planning to lay on Hwy 151 between Lp 1604 and Wiseman, it's 50 degrees and rising). This weekend ... well, we won't be that warm.

That means we'll have to cancel the closures planned at Hwy 151 and Loop 1604. Bummer, we know. That means you can resume any plans you had to be out and about in the area this weekend (yay!). Right now we don't have a firm reschedule plan, but if we end up getting overnight temperatures that are favorable next week we might be able to get this work done overnight. No promises on that, though ... we may end up having to go for January 13-15 (basically just pushing back work a full weekend). If that's the case, review the plan in this video (and, yes ... PLEASE get this word out via NextDoor and Facebook if you're in this impacted area):
But what about concrete work? Or demolition work? Temperatures don't impact that work as much. We don't have heavy winds in the forecast, so we should be on like Donkey Kong for that massive closure you've been hearing about this week at I-35 and New Braunfels Avenue. And yes, we really are taking a Spurs Break with that closure.

We're also moving forward with the closure of the westbound frontage road of Hwy 151 between I-410 and Ingram Road Saturday night, so if that's your area ... well, be aware and be ready to take Military Drive instead.

Tuesday, January 3

Three major closures this weekend

Earlier today we took to Twitter to discuss a major closure on I-35 at New Braunfels Avenue, which will close all lanes of I-35 for most of the weekend. Well, all but Saturday evening - when crews will take a break from work to stay out of the way of traffic headed to the Spurs game that night.
The closure is the first of a handful that will take place over the next year as crews replace the old bridge, which sustained damage more than a year ago when hit by a big rig truck. While we're fixing it, we've decided to upgrade the thing as well - making it wider, higher and modernizing the look just a bit.
This weekend's closure starts 9 p.m. Friday and runs through 5 a.m. Monday, with a break between 4:30 p.m. and midnight Saturday while the Spurs take on the Hornets. I mean, hey ... it's the Spurs, right?
Anyway, here's the broadcast from today:

But that's not the only closure we've got this weekend that'll impact your drive, if you're planning to be out and about. We have two more:

151-410
This isn't a huge one, but if you're traveling at night and need to get to a local destination at the intersection of Hwy 151 and I-410 this may put a damper on things.
We'll have the westbound frontage road of Hwy 151 closed between I-410 and Ingram Road Saturday night into Sunday morning. Work will begin 9 p.m. Saturday and run until 9 a.m. Sunday so crews can pour concrete overhead. Traffic will need to use West Military and Potranco Road to get around the closure. You'll still have access to the businesses in the area, but it won't be quite as convenient.
The big traffic movement that will be changed with this is going from I-410 to westbound Hwy 151 - which uses this frontage road. Folks looking to do this will also be moved to West Military and Potranco - which means those intersections will be slow going.
The good news: This is all overnight and is one night only.

151-1604
Williams Brothers Construction is trying to place final asphalt surfaces on that area as Hwy 151 meets Loop 1604, and this weekend should be their opportunity. It also means folks should just avoid the area as much as they can. Here's the schedule, so if you do venture out you know what you'll be getting yourself into:
(Note: the original post had the closures written out; we made a quick tutorial video instead so the closure info is a bit more clear.)

Take note again: this area will not be fun to drive through this weekend. Please warn your neighbors (ahem, please share this info via NextDoor and Facebook!!) and plan to find something to do at home, if you can, rather than be out and about driving through this.
*UPDATE: This closure will be pushed back, probably to next week, due to cold temps forecast for the weekend. Asphalt work requires temps 50 degrees and rising, and we're projected to be colder than that (especially with windchill) until Monday.

Because we know you'll ask
Since we've brought up the 151-1604 intersection many are wondering about our plan at Westwood Loop and Hwy 151/Alamo Ranch Pkwy.
We'll post more details later this week on the long-term plan. In the short run, expect to see crews out there tomorrow (Wednesday) restriping some of the road between Westwood Loop and the southbound frontage road of Loop 1604. These new stripes will:

  • Eliminate the option to turn right onto Westwood Loop when you're headed west from Hwy 151
  • Eliminate the option to turn left into Santikos from the frontage road portion of Alamo Ranch Parkway coming off the Lp 1604 frontage road (those of you driving the area know what we're talking about)
  • Force that left lane on the eastbound side of Alamo Ranch Parkway to enter Hwy 151 in the left entrance lane
  • Offer the right lane of eastbound Alamo Ranch Parkway the option to enter Hwy 151 (via the right entrance lane) or continue to the southbound frontage road of Loop 1604
Again, we'll have more details published later this week (with pictures!), but do expect to see striping crews out there tomorrow.

Monday, January 2

2016: A year in review

Ho. Lee. Smokes. A lot of stuff happened in 2016. Apparently a ton of folks littered social media with memes talking about how ready they were for 2016 to be over already. Well, we're not going there today. Instead, let's take a quick look - quick look - at what 2016 meant for TxDOT, particularly here in San Antonio.

Administrative stuff
The biggest change for TxDOT was the change of the guard at the very tip-top. James Bass became the department's new executive director at the start of the year. He's a life-long TxDOT guy (a departure from the Texas Transportation Commission's prior two selections as our head) with a background in finance and accounting. He's a money guy - which is pretty critical when folks look at the influx of money coming to the agency through Propositions 1 and 7 and the growing demand for us to do more with less. His changes have been subtle, but the leadership and direction is clear. We're all glad to have him as our boss (and no, we're not just saying that).
Why mention Mr. Bass here? Because of the emphasis he places on managing our financial resources well. So many folks seem to look at government agencies with skepticism regarding the way money is managed. Well, we take it really seriously here. Mr. Bass is a testament to that.
We also had a major initiative, Texas Clear Lanes, launched by our Transportation Commission. (By the way, did you know we have a local representative on that board? J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., was appointed in 2015 and has quickly become the commission's leader on congestion initiatives.) For more on the impact and influence of the Texas Clear Lanes initiative, check out what Mr. Bugg had to say in the Express-News just last week.
Some other quick things that happened:

  • Our iconic "Don't Mess With Texas" campaign, regarded as one of the most successful media and public awareness campaigns in the country, turned 30. We even released a commemorative coin to celebrate. And we'll lay odds you didn't even realize that phrase started here, with TxDOT, as a way to get you to remember to stop littering....
  • The commission announced about $1.3 billion in projects funded through the legislature's moratorium on diversions from transportation coffers. This included funding for the interchange of US 90 and I-410 as well as money to purchase needed right-of-way along US 281 between Stone Oak Parkway and the Bexar-Comal county line.
  • Our commission approved the largest-ever Unified Transportation Program, identifying about $70 billion in projects needed to help the state's growing transportation needs. The new 10-year plan is twice the size of the previous plan, which is updated annually to serve as a guide for how decisions are made in transportation planning.
  • While we've maintained our slew of safety campaigns, we also established Safe Phone Zones at most safety rest areas across the state. The idea is to get people who want to use their phones off the road while doing so by offering free wifi at select locations - including on I-10 east of Seguin, I-35 north of Devine and US 90 between D'Hanis and Sabinal.
Projects that wrapped up
Perhaps the biggest project to finish in 2016 was the expansion of Loop 1604 between Bandera and Culebra roads. What was once a four-lane divided highway with traffic signals at Braun, New Guilbeau and Shaenfield roads is now a limited-access expressway with continuous frontage roads servicing local traffic. Here are some other highlights:
  • Most of the intersection of Loop 1604 and Hwy 151 have opened as well, though that project isn't set (quite yet) to wrap up.
  • Our Walnut Avenue expansion in New Braunfels finished up as well, matching Walnut Avenue (Business 46) to the city's portion south of Landa Street and our own portion north of Kerlick.
  • We installed raised medians on Culebra Road inside Loop 1604, which received mixed reviews but have enhanced safety since their installation.

Projects that kicked off
2016 was the year that started a domino effect of several years with a ton of work that starts. With the influx of funds from Prop 1, Prop 7, the ended diversions and some local funding options that are taking effect we should see a lot of additional work get started over the next few years. That doesn't mean we don't have need for more - we do! But some of those mid-sized jobs everyone talks about needing to see done will get going soon. In 2016, we started:
That's just the big stuff, but all told we accepted bids on nearly 40 projects locally (meaning within our 12-county district), totaling more than $390 million in work. That doesn't count the work we already had on the books, by the way (like I-35 SAMMC, 151-410, I-10 Leon Springs and other big'ns).
Next year promises to hold more, but we'll talk more about that later this week.

What do you think? Did we miss any highlights?

This week's construction-related closures

We have two major closures set for this weekend to do overhead bridge work (another post on those closures, specifically, to come). Here's what we'll be doing this week:

I-35 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Northbound main lanes between George Beach and Rittiman roads. The left lane will close while crews work on drainage. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews widen the road and work on overhead highway signs. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Frontage road, both directions, between Walzem and Rittiman roads. Alternating lanes will close while crews do road work. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Northbound exit ramp to westbound I-410. Alternating lanes will close while crews work on barrier. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound exit ramp to southbound I-410. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will exit George Beach, turn around and enter southbound I-410 from the northbound frontage road of I-35. 
I-35 – East San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Friday, January 3-6. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Southbound frontage road between Binz-Engleman and Seguin Road. The right lane will close while crews work on sidewalks. 
  • Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. until Saturday, January 7 at 4:30 p.m. Main lanes, both directions, at New Braunfels Avenue. All lanes will close while crews demolish a portion of the New Braunfels Avenue Bridge. Traffic will exit New Braunfels Avenue, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway. 
  • Sunday, January 8 at 12:01 a.m. until Monday, January 9 at 5:30 a.m. Main lanes, both directions, at New Braunfels Avenue. All lanes will close while crews demolish a portion of the New Braunfels Avenue Bridge. Traffic will exit New Braunfels Avenue, continue through the intersection and re-enter the highway. 
  • Please note the highway will not be closed Saturday night, beginning at 4:30 p.m., to accommodate traffic for the San Antonio Spurs game.

I-410 – Northeast San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound exit ramp to northbound I-35 and Randolph Boulevard. The right lane will close, including the ramp to Randolph Boulevard, while crews work on barrier. Traffic will exit Thousand Oaks and turn around to reach Randolph Boulevard and the city of Windcrest. 
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound entrance ramp from Austin Highway. The ramp will close while crews move barrier. Traffic will follow the posted detour route. 
I-410 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Current until April 2017. Northbound exit to Culebra Road. The exit will close while crews widen the main lanes and frontage road. Traffic will exit Ingram Road, turn around and get to Culebra on the southbound frontage road. 
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, January 3-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound frontage road between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. The center and left lanes will close while crews pour concrete. 
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, January 3-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Northbound main lanes between Hwy 151 and Culebra Road. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete. 
  • Thursday-Friday, January 5-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound frontage road between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. The center and left lanes will close while crews pour concrete. This includes the Military Drive exit ramp. Traffic will use the next available ramp and follow the posted detour to reach its destination. 
  • Thursday-Friday, January 5-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound main lanes between Culebra Road and Hwy 151. The right lane will close while crews pour concrete. 
U.S. Hwy 90 – West San Antonio
  • Monday-Thursday, January 9-12. 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Eastbound main lanes between loop 1604 and Hunt Lane. The right lane will close while crews move barrier. This closure includes the entrance ramp from Loop 1604. Traffic will continue along the eastbound frontage road and enter the main lanes prior to I-410. 
Hwy 151 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Saturday-Sunday, January 7-8. 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. Westbound frontage road between I-410 and Ingram Road. All lanes will close while crews pour bridge deck overhead. Traffic will use West Military Drive to Potranco Road to reach its destination. This detour will be posted. 
Loop 1604 – Northwest San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Thursday, January 3-5. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Southbound frontage road at Alamo Ranch Parkway. The frontage road will close while crews remove beam bracing. Traffic will turn right onto Alamo Ranch Parkway, turn around at Lone Star Parkway and return to the frontage road to reach its destination. 
  • Tuesday-Thursday, January 3-5. 9 p.m. until 5 am. nightly. Main lanes, both directions, at Hwy 151. All lanes will close, one direction at a time, while crews remove beam bracing. Southbound traffic will exit Alamo Ranch Parkway, continue along the frontage road and re-enter the highway. Northbound traffic will exit Hwy 151 and turn around at Wiseman Boulevard, then re-enter northbound Loop 1604. 
Other roads – Northeast San Antonio
  • Monday-Friday, January 2-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. nightly. Randolph Boulevard, both directions, at I-35. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, controlled by traffic officers, while crews work on bridge rail overhead. 
  • Tuesday-Friday, January 3-6. 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Eastbound FM 78 between Braden Gate and Lakeview Drive. The right lane will close while crews work on sidewalks. 
Other roads – Northwest San Antonio
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, January 3-4. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. West Military Drive, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete overhead. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road and turn around at the next intersection to reach its destination. 
  • Thursday-Friday, January 5-6. 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. West Military Drive, both directions, at I-410. All lanes will close while crews pour concrete overhead. Traffic will turn right onto the frontage road and turn around at the next intersection to reach its destination. 
All closures are pending weather.
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