Northwest Side commute becomes easier Thursday
New lanes of 1604 will make highway faster
It’s official: Drivers on San Antonio’s Northwest Side will have an easier commute by Thursday afternoon.
The Texas Department of Transportation will open the northbound lanes of Loop 1604 between Culebra and Bandera roads about 11 a.m., marking the completion of a major conversion project there. The southbound lanes opened late last month.
The $82 million project, which began in 2014, involved changing that section of the highway into a four-lane expressway with overpasses at the intersections of Braun, New Gilbeau and Shaenfield roads. TxDOT built new frontage roads beside the main lanes to allow drivers to access intersections below the overpasses.
It’s also working on a flyover to connect southbound Loop 1604 and eastbound Texas 151 and a direct connector between Texas 151 and Alamo Ranch Parkway, but that part of the project won’t be complete until later this year.
“The biggest, most important thing is having (the lanes) open,” said TxDOT spokesman Josh Donat. “It’s huge.”
The contractor, Williams Brothers, finished the job more than a month ahead of schedule. With the opening, about a third of the 95-mile Loop 1604 is an expressway.
“Williams Brothers allocated resources like crazy to this project and kept work going around the clock,” Donat said.
The new lanes will provide major relief for drivers used to construction-related backups. But another stretch of road-building will soon begin to the south.
By the end of the year, TxDOT expects to start converting the section of Loop 1604 between Texas 151 and U.S. 90 into a four-lane expressway with overpasses at Wiseman Boulevard, Military Drive and Potranco and Marbach roads. It also plans to build a bridge over the expressway between Dove Canyon Boulevard and Falcon Wolf.Twitter: @katherineblunt